Bhubaneswar: With an aim of developing football from the grassroots in the state, Odisha’s first Indian Super League (ISL) club Odisha FC officially inaugurated its grassroots football development programme at Sai International School here on Monday.
The SAI-Odisha Football Club (FC) Grassroot Partnership was launched to make Odisha a Football Powerhouse of India, create a football club culture and give the students of the State an opportunity to live their dream.
Through this association, SAI will give a pathway to students to become professional football players, as a first of its kind in the State.
The partnership includes creating state teams both boys and girls in the under-7, under-9 and under-11 category. As SAI will be the official partner of the Odisha FC Grassroots Program, Odisha FC will guide SAI to develop a structured training programme both for boys and girls.
The SAI coaches will be guided with coaching methodology and curriculum to provide elite level training in the campuses of SAI International School and SAI International Residential School on weekly basis.
This is the first grassroot partnership in the Club’s history. The partnership will work towards tapping the sporting potential of the children and provide a wholesome development in the game of football.
The collaboration will start the first AIFF Golden Baby League in Odisha which will be an inter-school league with matches played every week for a period of time.
“Our aim is to make football the no. 1 sport in the state and the state of Odisha the no. 1 football state of India. The idea is over time, we will interact with each and every school in the state to spot talent in Odisha. Let’s start the journey together from today,” Odisha FC CEO Ashish Shah said in a statement.
The renowned Aspire Academy from Qatar is the technical partner of the club and the young players will be given an opportunity to train there as well just like the previous and current batches training at the academy.
Odisha Sports Secretary Vishal Dev, Indian Super League CEO Martin Bain, Odisha FC Coach Josep Gombau and Founder of SAI Internation Education Group cum Advisor of Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan attended the launch event.
It is worthwhile to mention that the Government of Odisha in association with Delhi Soccer Private Limited had launched the Odisha Football Club (FC) for the Indian Super League (ISL) in Odisha, comprising of renowned national and international footballers.