Bhubaneswar: To encourage football culture in the state, SAI-Odisha Football Club (FC) Partnership was launched at SAI International School here on Monday.
A first-of-its-kind endeavor in Odisha, it will provide the required training and push to students to become professional football players, an official release said.
Under this partnership, state teams of both boys and girls in Under-7, Under-9 and Under-11 categories will be formed. The Odisha FC will guide the school to develop a structured training programme both for boys and girls.
The school coaches will be guided with coaching methodology and curriculum to provide elite-level training on the campuses of SAI International School and SAI International residential School, on a weekly basis.
Secretary, Youth and Sports Department, Vishal Dev said that this partnership will create an eco-system for football in the state. He further said that it is an opportunity to tap the young talents from across Odisha.
Indian Super League CEO Martin Bain, who was present at the launching of the programme, said that the smile and enthusiasm of the people of India for football pulled him to the country. He also elaborated on the importance of football club culture, which is to bring together people with a love for the game and collaboratively develop the sport.
SAI International Education Group founder Dr Bijaya Kumar Sahoo said that this partnership is a momentous occasion for the school and will give impetus to the students to pursue the game with heightened dedication.
The other dignitaries present at the launching programme were owner of Odisha Football League Rohan Sharma, Head Coach, Odisha FC, Josep Gombau, Assistant Coach, Odisha FC, Thangboi Singto.
This is the first grassroot school partnership in the club’s history. And it aims to work towards tapping the sporting potential of the children of the state. 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 over a period of time.
The Odisha government in association with Delhi Soccer Private Limited had launched the Odisha FC for the Indian Super League (ISL) in Odisha, comprising of renowned national and international footballers.