Gangtok, 05 Dec:
Sports & Youth Affairs Department and Bhaichung Bhutia Football School have come together to promote football and attempt to produce more footballers from different corners of the State. This collaboration was formally announced by Secretary, Sports & Youth Affairs Department, Kuber Bhandari and BBFA founder, Bhaichung Bhutia, at a press conference here at Paljor Stadium on Thursday.
The joint venture’s main intent is to scout for talented footballers in U-13 and U-15 age-group from the grassroot level. The best footballers in the two categories will receive scholarship from BBFA for two years.
Addressing a press conference, Mr Bhandari informed that this was the first collaboration between the Department and BBFA and mentioned that coaching camps will be organised in the district-level under the ‘Prince of Football’ programme.
He added that district-level teams in both categories will then be formed and taken through a 20-day coaching camp to prepare them for state-level competition.
“After the state-level competition, a state-level team will be formed in each category. These U-13 and U-15 teams will then be taken by BBFS on exposure trips,” he said.
The Secretary informed that after the exposure trip, the best footballer in each of the two categories will receive scholarship and also exposure to clubs in Europe by BBFA for two years.
Mr Bhutia mentioned that the scholarships could be extended on the basis of the progress and improvement of the player.
He informed that BBFA was now the highest rated football academy as per the All India Football Federation and provides coaching to more than 300 children every day at its 75 training centres. The Academy has more than 200 coaches and a residential academy which was started a year back in Gurgaon. A second residential academy was coming up in Kerala.
“We always wanted to work for Sikkim and are thankful to the State government, Minister and SYA Department for this tie-up,” he said and expressed hope for the success of the joint venture.
He informed that the 20-day district-level coaching camp will start in all districts on 05 December and will be followed by a state-level competition and an exposure trip to Delhi in March next year.