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Football — a game played across the globe, with players ranging from professionals in stadiums to children in their backyard. It has the highest television audience of all sports, and involves physical fitness and stamina and mental stability, concentration and visualisation. For those interested in the sport but don’t want to be players, there are various options ranging from sports management and administration to sports science and nutrition.

In India, the sport is governed by The All India Football Federation (AIFF), which is in charge of the national men’s and women’s team, and the different youth teams, and also oversees all competitive tournaments at the national and state levels; the latter through state associations. It also offers a variety of courses in all aspects of football, such as coaching modules, referee courses, scouting workshops, and football management, states Kushal Das, the General Secretary of AIFF. The organisation has recently partnered with Pearson Education Ltd to offer the BTEC International Level 3 qualification in India. Das describes the course, which has been crafted with the guidance of the English club Liverpool FC, as a roadmap for those who wish to chart a career in sport and football and a hands-on career-oriented diploma. He adds that it will be useful for those who want to study abroad as it is recognised in over 40 countries by various sports organisations, institutes and governments.

Opening pathways

What the BTEC International Level 3 qualification does is to open pathways in fitness, coaching, sports business and management, and sports facilities operations and management along with short-term customised courses in sports psychology, nutrition and journalism. Apart from this, the AIFF has its own courses in various aspects related to football, such as coaching modules, referee courses, scouting workshops, and football management. Those who sign up for the BTEC International Level 3 do not have to join the AIFF’s courses, he clarifies.

The course is open to anyone above the age of 16, and no prior experience is required. Das points out that “91% of high school students know what they aspire to be, and for those who lean towards sport, this is a great opportunity. It opens up career pathways early on and provides required insight into the sport industry and makes it easier to move on to further studies within the realm of sport.”

The course has a multi-campus format, but Das says that all classes will be conducted online in a flexible blended learning format, given the pandemic’s impact on the industry. Resources and study material will be available through the week and the necessary practical assignments will be required to be completed towards the weekend.

“The idea,” he concludes, “is to cultivate a culture where we get individuals from different backgrounds together. The common factor is the passion we share for the sport.”

For more details, visit www.edu-aiff.com

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 4:43:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/careers-in-football/article33949539.ece

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