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ASA celebrates AFC Grassroots Day in Anantapur

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ASA celebrates AFC Grassroots Day in Anantapur

Anantapur Sports Academy celebrated Asian Football Confederation’s Grassroots Football Day (AFC-GFD) on 15 May 2016 by inviting children between the ages of six and 12 to grow the game of football in Anantapur. 

In striving for positive social change among youth and children, Rural Development Trust’s (RDT) Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) has focussed on the grassroots structure of sport, in particular encouraging participation in regular sporting and physical activity. This has been demonstrated particularly well by its football programme, which has been trying constantly through its mandal (village-level) football clubs to promote the sport by encouraging participation at the village level.

The latest of its initiatives is the celebration of the AFC - GFD at the Anantapur Sports Village (ASV). AFC - GFD proved to be the opportune occasion to reach out to young children. Introducing football to children as early as possible is the best way to increase participation and the popularity of football. This would also allow the ASA to contribute to the growth of Indian football and football in general at the grassroots, one of the primary objectives that All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have been trying to achieve.

The ASA football academy invited all 25 of its current mandal football clubs to send children aged between six and 12 to participate. A total of 207 children came to participate in the AFC – GFD. These children were divided into ten groups and assigned to a total of 27 coaches during the course of the event, a female and male coach for each group at least.

“Most of these children have never seen a football in their life, let alone playing with it. The idea is to introduce these children to football in a fun manner. Only when they like the game will they come forward to play it,” said ASA Football Academy assistant head coach, P. Vijayabhaskar.

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The focal point of the programme revolved around each child’s joy to play, while spending maximum possible time with a football. Each group played small sided games, on ten pitches no bigger than a futsal ground. The children were involved in games like playing cricket with a football, tennis with a football, caterpillar, monkey in the middle, etc.

Their coaches ensured that they took utmost care of every child under their mentorship while teaching them the basics of football. They never failed to constantly help the children learn the footballing values of fair play, teamwork, respect and sportsmanship.

The GFD programme was also considered as an initiative to give these children the opportunity to mingle, interact with and talk to others to promote their social skills. Which was why the ASA encouraged the children to participate in a series of ice breakers and activities after their arrival on the 14 May and yet again after the GFD programme sessions on the evening of 15 May.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]

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Maxon Sequeira

Published

Monday, May 23, 2016 - 00:00