Kochi: Enthused by the "whole hearted" support given by Malayalee football fans in the first season of the Indian Super League, Kerala Blasters FC on Saturday unveiled its plans for football development in the state.
Blasters, as the ISL runners up is called by fans, have tied up with Prodigy Sportz as its grassroots partner to run the programme in the state.
The programme broadly involves three fold aspect of football development in the state; encompassing 'Train the Trainer' initiatives for school PE Teachers, grassroots /scouting festivals for children and the launch of specialised football training schools called Kerala Blasters Football Schools.
They said in a release that as the grassroots partner of KBFC, Prodigy Sportz will conceptualise and implement, under the guidance of Blasters, all the grassroots and youth development programmes in Kerala, for a five year period.
The programmes will kick off with a three day Grassroots Instructor Training workshop for school PE Teachers at Kochi starting April 9 to April 11.
The course would be conducted by All India Football Federation's Head of Academies, Scott O'Donell. Enrolment for the programme is free for PE teachers nominated by their respective schools on a first come basis.
"This is an excellent opportunity in football for both school kids and PE Teachers. In AIFF, we have been exploring ways to engage with PE teachers to spread the game at the grassroots level, and the initiative by Kerala Blasters to pursue this model is very encouraging," Scott said.
Successful participants will graduate as AIFF Certified Grassroots Instructors and subsequently run the grassroots programme in their individual schools under the programme.
Viren D'Silva, General Manager for Kerala Blasters, said "The fans of Kerala Blasters have supported the team whole heartedly and encouraged us to perform very well in the first season, now it is our duty to ensure that we lay a strong foundation for grooming new talent in Kerala, talent that will regain the proud place that Kerala has in the history of national and international football."