The delight a simple football game can bring to children must be seen to be believed. Imagine then, the joy that an entire football tournament would generate among children of slums across the country.
Gamesa Soccer League (GSL), an initiative to introduce football among children in slums and get them to compete as teams with their counterparts from different parts of India, will kick off in Chennai this year. The first training session began on Friday at the grounds of the Madras School of Social Work.
Former State director general of police R. Nataraj inaugurated the training by taking part in a warm-up session along with jersey-clad boys eager to kick the football. Earlier, addressing those gathered at the venue, the ex-officer expressed pleasure that nearly one lakh children would benefit from the initiative.
Organised by wind energy developers Gamesa, and NGO Slum Soccer, the GSL will feature seven teams from Tamil Nadu including Tirunelveli Heroes, Theni Maestros, Santhome Superstars, Satara Supernovas, Besant Nagar Brave hearts, Udumalpet Warriors and Sangli Daredevils. The players were handpicked from villages and hamlets of the State over the last few months.
Following a six-month-long training session in different parts of Tamil Nadu, the seven teams will compete against others from the rest of India at the GSL, scheduled to be held in Chennai in mid-2015.