14-year-old Harshal Karle from St. Augustine’s School in Navi Mumbai is the winner of this year’s football scholarship to the United Kingdom from the UK-based Sport Esprit Academy, as was announced at the Ryan Global School in Andheri, Mumbai.
Last year, Sport Esprit Academy founder Anish Khinda had come down to India from the UK to scout for young football talent through a nationwide talent hunt and selected Delhi-lad Dilshere Singh Sandhu for a scholarship worth 22 lakhs.
Dilshere got an opportunity to train for a year at UK’s Brooke House College Football Academy. Erstwhile Sports Minister Ajay Maken, Sheila Dixit and Arjun Rampal were present at the felicitation ceremony held in Delhi last year.
Sport Esprit Academy is a UK-based football academy which is responsible for placing young budding footballers from the UK and India with professional football clubs in Europe. Chairman of Sport Esprit Academy is Anish Khinda, who was born in the UK and is of Indian origin and has always had a passion to develop football in India. This is the second year the competition has been delivered in India, and last year’s competition was held in Delhi.
2013 has seen Sport Esprit Academy run the competition in association with Ryan International Schools across India. The competition ran 12-day soccer camps at each Ryan School, and these were Cambridge School Kandivali, Sanpada, Bangalore, Surat and Greater
Noida. Each camp was delivered under the watchful eye of Anish Khinda, an ex-professional footballer from the UK and also an official EPL club scout. Anish has also worked with ex-Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson & ex-England star Paul Gascoigne, also delivering the camp and running the selection process was technical director of Sport Esprit Academy Michael McGannon, who has been with Arsenal Soccer School in the UK.
The scholarship value is approximately RS 2.2 million (22 lakhs) and the winning player will be based at the famous Brooke House Football Academy in the UK. The Brooke House academy are official partners of Sport Esprit Academy and play in the national academy league in the UK.
The Sport Esprit Academy team of selectors don’t just look for a player who can score all the goals, or a player who has the most amount of skill.
Sport Esprit Academy look at the bigger picture and the player who has been selected is also identified as the player who they believe can develop the most under the guidance of their coaches, the player also represents a good understanding of the whole round game, shows good sportsmanship and commitment, and most importantly understands the importance of managing themselves on and off the pitch.
Sport Esprit Academy are very excited to hand this life changing prize to the winning player.
In moving forward, Sport Esprit Academy have agreed a long-term deal with Ryan International Schools who are India’s largest private school institution owning 128 schools across the country. The relationship is also expanding into the Ryan Global schools in Dubai from September 2013.
Anish Khinda said, “The official agreement to form a long-term partnership with India’s largest private school institution speaks volumes for Sport Esprit Academy. We had a vision to be a world renowned sports academy in coaching, development and excellence and slowly we are getting a firm hold of the market to be the leaders. We have created exciting opportunities for our members through our projects as well as promoting fair play and equality. We are excited to be extending our relationship into the UAE and within a few years we are confident to be operation in Abu Dhabi and Qatar with the Ryan Group of schools.”