Football for Schools Program empowers education and sports in India

Sambalpur, Odisha: The ambitious Football for Schools (F4S) program, spearheaded by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), is making significant strides in India. Supported by the Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education, the All India Football Federation (AIFF), and the Sports Authority of India (SAI), F4S is set to revolutionize the way football is integrated into the education system.

To kick-start this transformative initiative, FIFA organized a two-day capacity-building master training program on October 2, 2023, in Sambalpur, Odisha. A total of 95 Physical Education Teachers/Trainees from various States/UTs, Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS), Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (NVS), and AIFF actively participated in the event. The program aims to create master trainers at the state level who will further enhance capacity at subsequent levels.

The inaugural master training session in Sambalpur saw the active participation of three master trainers from FIFA, one representative from AIFF, and two from the Department of School Education & Literacy, KVS, and NVS. A total of 95 participants, comprising 67 males and 28 females, hailing from 13 different states, KVS, NVS, and AIFF, enthusiastically attended the training.

This groundbreaking initiative stems from an MoU signed between the Ministry of Education, AIFF, and FIFA on October 30, 2022, with Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya playing a pivotal role as the nodal organization. F4S aims to empower government schools across the country by providing 11.15 lakh footballs and conducting extensive capacity-building programs. These footballs will be distributed to schools throughout India, further nurturing the sport’s growth at the grassroots level.

F4S has a profound vision – to contribute to the education, development, and empowerment of approximately 700 million children. It aims to promote football as an accessible activity for both boys and girls worldwide by seamlessly integrating football into the education system. FIFA has initiated F4S in India, and the program is set to make a lasting impact on the future of sports and education.

Two more master training programs are scheduled in Pune and Bengaluru on October 5-6, 2023, with approximately 200 participants expected to join the ranks of master trainers, thereby fueling the expansion of F4S’s reach.