Chennai to witness twelve hours of football


Boys under 14, participate in this football marathon and get a chance to be trained by coaches of German football club FC Schalke 04

From 7 am to 7 pm this coming Monday, across 10 venues in the city, children from over 100 schools will be doing just one thing: playing their best game of football.

School of Sports at Nandanam has collaborated with German football club FC Schalke 04 to hold a 12-hour marathon league for boys under the age of 14, at the end of which handpicked children will be trained by two of Schalke’s youth team coaches — Kai Brock and Tom Albrecht.

Brock and Albrecht have been on a tour training children in Rwanda and China before coming to Chennai. The duo will hold a one-week training programme for the 20 to 40 students, whom they will be selecting during the marathon.

“This event is primarily to encourage footballers at the grassroots level,” says Siddarth K, founder of School of Sports. The organisation joins hands with schools to teach football, among other sports, to children as young as six years old; the belief being earlier the start, the better the training. “So far we have had 100 school teams registering with us for this marathon,” he says. The schools are from across boards: State, CBSE, and ICSE. “The zonals for State board and clusters for CBSE were both recently concluded, and we have invited the winning teams for this marathon as well.”

Chennai to witness twelve hours of football

School of Sports, he explains, is associated with German Football Academy, an international coaching centre, with its Indian branch in Kolkata. “We will be bringing in European coaches every quarter so that they can train children here for 10 days. This is for football, but we are planning to join hands with other academies for different sports in the future,” Siddarth says.

The marathon will be in a league format, and teams will be selected on the basis of their scores. The matches will start in 10 venues at first, and will go down to five before the final game that is scheduled for 6 pm at Tiki Taka in Velachery. The selected footballers will be given both practical and theoretical training. “They will be given a one-hour session daily for five days. It will involve 15 minutes of classroom training and 45 minutes of on-ground training, thus helping in both tactical and technical skills,” Siddarth adds.

The coaching is free for the selected students, however, any child who wishes to register for it can do so at a nominal fee. “On the sidelines, we will also have a programme for trainers to help them coach better at the grassroots level,” he says.

Siddarth agrees that we have a long way to go in order to reach the European level of skill in football. In fact, the marathon is open only to boys as “we need many teams to participate in a league, and there just aren’t enough girls’ teams in schools,” he says. However, “things will look up in the next four to five years, especially with the introduction of ISL,” he adds. “That is why we need grassroots training.”

The marathon will be held on November 4, starting from 7 am. Interested teams can contact 9840804794. Refundable registration fee of ₹500 per team applies.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 8:00:19 AM |

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