The first batch of 25 children aged 12-14 years to receive world-class training in football and Academy to provide homeschooling, community service and personality development.
Tata Trusts today announced the establishment of a state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Football in Aizawl, Mizoram, to provide world class training and development opportunities for young footballers from the North East. Tata Trusts has handpicked the first batch of 25 student athletes, aged 12-14 years through meticulous scouting across Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Assam.
Recognizing the interest in the youth for Football in the region, the CoE aims to develop and nurture sporting talent by providing them with world-class coaching, infrastructure, education, residential facilities and a sustainable progression structure through disciplined training and competitive participation. In addition, the Centre will give equal importance to personality development, communication and IT skills.
The CoE is equipped with a modern training pitch for on-ground practice, and also houses top notch recovery equipment and a fully equipped physiotherapy room for the student athletes.
Tata Trusts has collaborated with the Government of Mizoram, the Mizoram Football Association, the Aizawl Diocesan Education Society, the Northeast Initiative Development Agency, and Mizoram Police for the on-ground implementation of the CoE.
Mr. Burzis Taraporevala on the launch of Tata Trusts Centre
Mr. Lalnghinglova Hmar (Tetea Hmar), Secretary, Mizoram Football Association, said, “Mizoram is a state with a vast talent pool for football and has ample potential to produce outstanding professionals. The need for quality football institutions is a prerequisite for success. It gives me utmost pleasure in knowing that Tata Trusts is building such an institution in the state and I have full confidence that this Centre of Excellence will be pivotal in generating outstanding professional footballers in the country. The Mizoram Football Association will do everything in its capacity for the successful establishment of the Centre.”
Biswanath Sinha, Zonal Head – East & North East, Tata Trusts said, “The CoE is a vehicle of social transformation by providing meaningful engagement, character building and complete education for young children. The mission is to create not just international quality players but responsible citizens who are connected to the community and who will engender change both on the pitch and off it. The CoE will prove to be a game changer for young talent in the Northeastern region of India. At the same time, it will also channelize their energy towards both self and community development.”
The young players will be coached under the expert guidance of Senior Assistant Coach Bitan Singh, who has been instrumental in spotting talented players. Bitan Singh has worked extensively with young talents over the years and had recently led the Minerva Punjab U-16 team to U-16 I-League glory in 2017. Mr Colm Joseph Toal, who was technical director for All India Football Federation (AIFF) during 2007-2014 will be joining the CoE as the Head Coach from May 2018.
It aims to train 25 meticulously-selected, talented young footballers to put their Best Foot Forward
Tata Trusts in collaboration with the Aizawl Diocesan Education Society (ADES), which operates 18 schools in Mizoram with an enrolment of 12300 students, will provide quality schooling to the student athletes through the Holy Trinity School.
The batch comprising of children between from Grade 7 to 9 will be homeschooled for five hours daily from Monday to Friday. The CoE is also equipped with a reading room and library.
The student-athletes will get equal opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, competitions and cultural programmes conducted at the Holy Trinity School. The students will also participate in 20 hours of community service in the academic year.
The CoE is a part of the overarching goal of Tata Trusts – Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Grassroots Football Development Program, which aims to identify children with interest in Football and provide them with a platform to flourish. Along with its partners, Tata Trusts has set up 60 grass root academies across six districts of Mizoram to train children in the age group of 6-14 years.
Tata Trusts has been working in the North East since 2006 to support development of the region through the provision of enhanced livelihood opportunities, improved agricultural practices and sustainable use of natural resources in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. Centre for Microfinance and Livelihood (CML) and North East Initiative Development Agency (NEIDA) are Associate Organisations of Tata Trusts executing this project.