CHENNAI: In the first-of-its kind initiative to provide professional football training for underprivileged children, AMM Foundation, an autonomous charitable trust inaugurated Murugappa Youth Football Academy (MYFA) programme at Vellayan Chettiar Higher Secondary School in Tiruvottiyur on Wednesday. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between A Rajagopal, secretary, AMM Foundation and Arup Das, a trustee of India Youth Soccer Association (IYSA), a Delhi-based non profit organisation, which provides football training to economically disadvantaged children.
N Mahatvaraj, advisor, AMM Foundation, said, over 3,000 students from in and around Tiruvottiyur were studying in the school and most of them were from the fishing community. “I found that football is the passion for most of these slum children living in North Chennai, but they cannot afford the sport. If they are trained through a proper channel, it will make a difference to their lives. It will also help in the development of the community in the area. The Foundation might also extend this programme to its other schools in the future.” Sajitha Rajiv, project manager AMM Foundation, said, “The strength will be increased after seeing how the coaching for the first batch goes. So far, 336 applications have been received and 100 students will be selected through two trial rounds, where they will be tested for basic football knowledge. The programme may be extended to the community in the area in another two years or so, depending on the progress of this maiden attempt.”
Das said the trainees would be provided basic training practice.
MYFA will channelise the energy of talented youth from economically weaker sections by giving quality football coaching, and also taught about honesty, discipline, leadership and teamwork. The training will be given to children under age group of 15, two coaches, who have played at the national level, have been recruited. Registration fee for enrollment in the programme is Rs 100. 100 students will be selected and they will be divided into two teams. Each team will receive training on alternative days in a week. M V Subbiah, managing trustee of AMM foundation was also present at the event.