Football camp to revive game in and around Walled City
OT, June 27, 2012 12:00 IST
Okhla Times Reporter/Ambedkar Stadium
At a time when Euro 2012 tournament is going on, football fever has gripped the Walled City in Old Delhi. At about 6 PM more than 150 boys in the age group of 4 and 17 are being taught the nuts and bolts of playing football at Ambedkar Stadium on June 26. And those who missed the football camp that is to run for a few more days, are now lining up at the stadium to get their wards registered by paying Rs 100.
Unrolled by the Capital Football Academy (CFA) to revive the game in Central Delhi and around the Walled City, the 15-day football camp has been a huge hit with boys as young as 8 years old turning up to learn football skills. Khanna Balls gifted balls to children.
Parents too come to the stadium and take keen interest in their sons’ performance.
The camp has been a success, thanks to Delhi Power Minister Haroon Yusuf, who is the patron. Former footballers of the Walled City too have joined in to popularize the game in the area. Also, hoardings and posters were placed in many areas, informing residents about the camp.
General Secretary of CFA Liaquat Ali said this camp is just the beginning. “We are trying our best to continue this coaching in local schools for three days. We have already requested the Delhi government to give us ground. Earlier, teams from Walled City use to dominate the game. We hope that these trained young footballers will revive the legacy.”
Some 12 licensed coaches, who are training the boys for three hours from 4 PM to 7 PM daily, are hopeful that regular practice can help the young boys go up the ladder in the world of football. “Some boys are highly talented. If they get the right training and exposure they will become big players,” said Jai Prakash, football coach National Institute of Sports (NIS).
Boys too are happy as they are getting opportunity to learn a lot about the game from famed coaches. India coach Tarun Rao (under 16) has also been roped in for three days.
Ankit Kumar, 14, who comes from Punjabi Bagh, said: “In a few days I have picked up a lot of skills.” A Zafarabad-resident Md Adnan Mallick, 13, wants to continue his training. Md Hamza Qureshi, 14, who comes from Sadar Bazaar, said: “I want to play for Indian football team.”
Nitin Kumar, 12, and Fazad, 8, and others are enthusiastic and are happy with the camp.
Coach Samiullah, who is training boys under 12, is all praise for the youngsters. He said some children are bright and can become star of the future.
That is what Md Jawed, who resides in Lal Kuan, wants his son to become.
Till now the organizers have been running the show smoothly, free of cost. CFA president Syed Khurram Raza said we want young footballers to come out from the camp and this area. “After identifying talent we will train them further.”
The group is in talks with some local schools like Anglo Arabic School to continue the training in the campus once the camp is over.
PHOTO CAPTION: Football buffs in Ambedkar Stadium
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