THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Travancore Royals, the first-fan-owned football club in the country, was launched in the city last year which aimed at regaining the lost glory of the capital city which was once a home ground to many legendary football players from the state. Now, to encourage and support young woman football enthusiasts in the city, Travancore Royals has launched the city’s first-ever women’s football academy, Travancore Royal Women’s Football Academy.
The academy was formally launched at All Saints College in a function inaugurated by Shashi Tharoor, MP, the other day. “When we had formed the men’s team last year, we planned to have a women’s team as well. Like the Indian Super League, there is also an Indian Women’s League which is held every year but there has never been any participation from Kerala due to lack of a women’s football team. So, we thought of starting a football academy exclusively for women,” said Sreekanth S, treasurer, Travancore Royals.
Twenty-nine students from the All Saints College and Government College for Women enrolled in the academy will be given free training at the All Saints College ground by the Travancore Royal Sports Society. Summer classes will also be held where students will be given training classes by experienced football coaches. “We aim to produce talented women football players who will represent our country in future,” said Sreekanth.
He also saidthat the city was once considered to be the sport’s capital of Kerala but over the years, this legacy was lost. “There is also a shortage of suitable venues for football training. Except for Gokulam Kerala FC in Kozhikode, there are no football clubs for women to practice. So, this academy will be a platform for women football enthusiasts,” he said.
Girls above the age of six and college students will be given basic training. Classes will be held on weekends from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. Students will be trained by a Nepal-based coach Roshan Shah along with others. “We want to form a team of good women football players who will represent the state in the Indian Women’s League next year,” said Sreekanth.