Tata Steel providing coaching facilities for budding footballers in mining areas
With an objective to nurture the budding footballers in the state of Odisha, Tata Steel has started providing coaching facilities in the operational areas of OMQ (Ore, Mines 7 Quarries) Division. The company has been setting up Football Coaching Camps in its operation areas for children under the age of 10 years.
Children from the backward and tribal dominated areas of Joda and Keonjhar are participating in such camps. In the last two years, 10 such Football Coaching Camps have been organised at Joda and Bamebari. Children of Khondbond area have also been included in such camps since October 2016.
The prime objective of these coaching camps is to teach children the skill of cooperation and life lessons about winning and learning from losing, besides health and fitness. This intervention will not only uplift tribal children but will provide them a platform to showcase their talent at state and national level championships. Further, this sport can also serve as a means to their livelihood in future.
Till date, 75 selected children from these areas have been covered under this initiative. To inculcate interest among the children, football kits having jersey, socks, shoes, water bottle, football, plastic marking hurdles etc. are given to the participants. Local renowned coaches have been identified and engaged to nurture them. An overall conducive environment has been created for seamless and efficient coaching to the enrolled children.
Mr Badal Mahakud, Under 10 Footballer Coach at Joda says, “These enthusiastic children are showing remarkable improvement in terms of skill, technique and communication. Most importantly, their families are backing them to pursue this coaching along with their regular study.”
The coaching is not only helping them craft a sporting career but also rebuilding their confidence level. It is helping them to grow as a professional sportsman and also frequent exposure to football tournament is providing much impetus to their sporting experience. The initiative has really shown result as some of them have been a part of the selection camp organized by District Sports Authority. As a way forward, the best players will be trained in the Tata Football Academy at Jamshedpur after five years. A team of 75 budding footballers were sent for advance training at Jamshedpur on February 8, 2017, where they will get exposure to compete with other children.
“This initiative is proving itself to be a medium for a sustained positive engagement of children that will keep them off the streets and hanging around with the wrong people”, says one of the guardians of the football player.