One of the city’s oldest football clubs, Nethaji Football Club, has signed a partnership with Slum Soccer, a Sport4Development organisation that uses football as an intervention mechanism.

Slum Soccer has been working with less privileged youth across the country for over a decade. Using a curriculum that has been specially developed in association with Streetfootballworld and Coaches across Continents, it instils vital life skills like communication, leadership, confidence, environmental awareness and gender equality in its participants.

Slum Soccer also represents the country at the annual event of the Homeless World Cup. Through FIFA’s Football for Hope programme, the organisation is closely associated with the game’s global governing body.

Nethaji Football Club was recently in the news when Rohit Ramesh acquired it from the old owners. He has been a longstanding supporter of Slum Soccer and was part of the contingent that competed at the 2013 Homeless World Cup in Poznan, Poland.

Mr. Ramesh says he hopes to take forward the football-for-development movement in the country with this partnership. “The power of football to change lives is undeniable and Slum Soccer’s legacy is a testament to the quality of the work they have put in over the years,” he explains.

Slum Soccer CEO, Abhijeet Barse adds, “Slum Soccer has always pursued the twin goals of development through football, and assisting the All India Football Federation in the development of football. This partnership with Nethaji Football Club will take us closer to realising these ambitions.”

According to a release, Akshay Vishnu Madhavan, COO, Slum Soccer, who will be appointed technical director of Nethaji Football Club, sees it as an exciting opportunity. “As someone who is passionate not only about football, but also its ability to make a difference, I’m determined to make this a successful partnership.”

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