Several Budding Footballers Have Benefitted Through Bengaluru FC’s Partnership With The Sports School, Which Offers A Comprehensive Football Training Program As Part Of Its Academic Curriculum…
Bengaluru FC and The Sports School (TSS), on Thursday, marked two years of a partnership that has allowed several young footballers in the city access to football coaching, as part of their educational curriculum. The Blues, through their Grassroots Development program, have offered a comprehensive training program at TSS with the help of experienced coaches, licensed by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) or the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The program, launched on this day in 2019, aims to help players across age groups to develop their technical skills while providing as many opportunities to play competitive football as possible, to aid in their ongoing development.
“There was no point in starting another regular school. For the few kids who love and have a passion for sport, there weren’t any options. That’s where we stepped in and came up with the idea of The Sports School,” says TSS co-founder Srinivas TR, speaking about the reasons behind the establishment of The Sports School.
“Rather than hire a bunch of coaches and announce that we provide training, we have tied up with experts in their respective sports to go beyond training and show the kids a career path. Bengaluru FC has provided us the best possible football coaching any kid can ask for, and apart from coaching, there is a defined pathway for the kids to take and reach the highest level,” he adds.
In just two years’ time, three students from TSS have been selected for trials to the Blues’ Residential Academy at the Inspire Institute of Sport in Bellary – a testament to the hard work being done by the coaches behind the scenes. Parth Salunke from Pune, Romario LG from Thanjavur and Elroy Elvis Jacob from Kochi will soon assemble in Bellary for final assessment by the Academy coaches.
“Our partnership with The Sports School has been very successful. From on-ground coaching to online, the pandemic has not overtly affected our quest to provide the students with the best possible football education. That three TSS students have already been selected for trials to our Residential Academy shows that things are on the right track. We have laid the right foundations at the grassroots level, and I am looking forward to our continued efforts in the future,” says Mandar Tamhane, the CEO of Bengaluru FC.
“Apart from providing guidance on the field, we now also have a Sports Science department where we will look deeper into Strength and Conditioning, nutrition, injury prevention and a lot more which will ensure holistic development of the students,” adds Dr Shankar UV, TSS’ Director, who has almost 27 years of experience in guiding budding athletes to the highest level.
The COVID-19 pandemic put a spanner in the works for everyone at Bengaluru FC and The Sports School, but the improvisation was quick, as coaching sessions moved online to ensure that children do not lose out on time and valuable development. For at least one hour a day, Bengaluru FC Youth coaches continue to impart technical knowledge along with regular Sports Psychology sessions and exclusive Masterclasses with Bengaluru FC first team players, coupled with regular feedback sessions to make sure each student is attended to individually.
“We might have lost some numbers due to COVID, but both TSS and BFC have been patient and persistent through it all. That shows that both of us are in this very seriously. When I sat down with BFC to speak about my plans with TSS before it all began, they trusted me and very quickly got on board. Today, everyone who turned me down or refused to speak to me back then wants to join forces. That is proof that we are both doing things right, and hopefully we will continue to do so in the long run,” Shankar adds.