First edition of Tata Motors School Football Championship kicks off
Touted as one of India's biggest multi-city school football league, SFC (School Football Championship) got underway this month in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. Scheduled to take place until the 28th of February in all the cities, SFC features 210 teams from 100 different schools competing in a high-octane league and tournament.
The first couple of weekend of games saw the teams donning their colourful jerseys and competing in a colourful and professional environment, just like a stadium. Dhrumvil Pandya, the 15 year old Mumbai-lad who was scouted by Crystal Palace FC last Summer, was present in attendance to share his story with the budding crop of players. With each team having their own name and logo, the atmosphere was reminiscent of a Premier League game, albeit for kids.
SFC, a brainchild of Just For Kicks & Soccer Connections, is supported by Tata Motors who recently roped in Messi as their Global Brand Ambassador.
Delna Avari, Head of Marketing & Communication at Tata Motors, said, “We have been riding on the growing trend for football and have roped in the legend of football- Lionel Messi as the Global Brand Ambassador. Our #madeofgreat campaign, is a step forward to sensitising our customers about this partnership and showcases this fact that football is the latest cool sport.”
She continued, “The youth today is increasingly seen associating with this game at different levels and more so, adopting this as their preferred sport they like to play. Like any other sport to grow and thrive, it is imperative that it gets embedded at grassroots’ level.”
“School Football Championship is one such platform and we are delighted to have got this opportunity to be part of, as it encourages young school children to follow their passion for football. With this association, we hope to create a difference in their lives and help them seek excellence in a sport which is truly coming of age in India,” she added.
There were photo booths where kids could click virtual pictures with their idol, Messi and an activity zone where the players showcased all kinds of tricks - from juggling to freestyling. Hop over to SFC’s instagram page to be part of the action. The event is powered by Appy Fizz, a product of Parle Agro, who are also backing India's grassroots football revolution.
Taking place over the weekends in all its sites, SFC has witnessed more than 600 goals being scored in the first couple of weekends of games across all its sites. In a unique opportuntiy, ten students will be scouted through the championships by an expert panel consisting of scouts from both Indian and International football clubs. The scouted students will train with the U-17 team at Crystal Palace FC in London for a week later this year.
All the special on ground moments and live standings can be accessed virtually on their website - www.sfcleague.com
Here's a quick video that gives us an indication of how talented these young school kids are: