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Sant Cugat: Educating and developing youngsters in Anantapur through football


Sant Cugat: Educating and developing youngsters in Anantapur through football

A yearly camp organised by a Spanish club to develop football in the region not only reaches out to local teams, but to young individuals to try and change the mindset of the people with the help of the young footballers that participate in the camp.

Sant Cugat Esport FC has been visiting Anantapur for the past three years, and has used a two-pronged method of developing football, one part concentrating on the ASA academy football team and another looking to develop the sport at the grassroots. The first part focusses on training the ASA academy and mandal teams in a structured and scientific manner, while the second part focusses on creating awareness about the benefits of participating in sports, especially football, by visiting villages and communities to increase participation in sport among young girls and boys.

The ASA already has a structured grassroots programme with 22 active mandal (community) schools playing football, but they want to further promote football among youth in remote areas of Anantapur, where most people live an isolated and secluded lifestyle. Sant Cugat visits these areas and organises camps to introduce the youth of these communities to football. They help them understand the benefits of football as a team sport, which involves team work and having to establish a rapport with many individuals in order to bond and effectively play as one unit, as well as share experiences of success and failure with team mates.

The youth get an opportunity to meet new people and make more friends, starting with the Sant Cugat coaches themselves. They are also taught that football requires co-ordination on and off the field, along with discipline and self-control. This encourages people to come together through sport and play, enabling them to better integrate into the community.


Another major objective of these camps is to increase the number of girls participating in sport, especially football, as currently only 16% of participants in ASA’s football programmes are girls. This has also been the main reason why the Sant Cugat team always has at least two female coaches on their visit to ASA. These female coaches are crucial in reaching out to several schools within the district to introduce girls to football, and promote their participation in regular and sustainable sporting activity.

A final area that the Sant Cugat team supports is the development of youth in Anantapur by training and educating the existing grassroots coaches, mostly young girls and boys, who have been associated with RDT through their football programmes as youngsters. They are trained in coaching, skill acquisition and career development in football, but more importantly, in the health and wellbeing of their players. They are taught about the importance of the player’s balanced diet, leading healthy lifestyles, as well as the importance of education.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


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Maxon Sequeira


Sunday, August 9, 2015 - 23:00