Kick off: UP govt schools to make efforts to get students to fall in love with football.


LUCKNOW: Students of government-run schools in Uttar Pradesh will now get an opportunity to play football on a regular basis and improve their skills in the game.

To popularise and promote football in UP in the run-up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in India this October, a seminar, Mission XI Million, was organised at the office of the secondary education department on Wednesday afternoon.

Project director, local organising committee, FIFA U-17 WC India 2017, Joy Bhattacharya, said principals and teachers of government schools were asked to include football in sporting activities to help students fall in love with a sport that’s all about discipline and team spirit.

Director, UP secondary education, Aman Nath Verma, said it was for the first time that the prestigious event was being organised in India and asked the principals to encourage students to play football.

The genesis of introducing sports in schools goes back to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mann ki Baat radio programme broadcast in March 2016 where he had called for promotion of football in the country in the run-up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup.The sports department then initiated steps to popularise football in the country. Several rounds of discussions have been held with FIFA, AIFF, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and CBSE.

“We are looking forward to help 11 million Indian children embrace football through this mass movement. It is the most ambitious project undertaken to promote sports in the country ever,” Bhattacharya said.

The school programme will include workshops with school principals, physical education coaches, and short listing of winners for the football festival.

The director, secondary education, said efforts were on to ensure that school students developed interest in the game.

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