The multinational natural resources union, Vedanta announced a strategic roadmap to actively foster skill development in sports across the country. The organization through its Sesa Football Academy (SFA), has contributed immensely to the development of football players in Goa. The academy has created the conditions for discovering, creating and building talent for football. The group now aims to build on the legacy of the academy and develop budding players in football from all over the country.
The academy runs on a residential basis and imparts systematic and scientific training. It also grooms the youngsters to become full-fledged professional players. It takes care of the formal education of the trainees during the four year training period. The academy presently has an intake capacity of 36 boys being trained at its Sankhali premises.
The skill development model that the company has adopted is to scout young talent and hone them in the sport. 22 boys in the age group of 14 to17 years have been selected from Rajasthan, Punjab, Kerala, Manipur, Sikkim, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana and Zambia.
The selection panel consisted of experts such as former India captain Bramhanand Sankhwalkar, ex-national team players Bruno Coutinho and Francis D’souza, Armando Colaco – five times National Football League winning coach and Denzil Franco – a product of Sesa Football Academy and alumni. The advisory panel of the SFA constitutes former Indian international Bhaichung Bhutia apart from the management team of Vedanta.
Ms. Annanya Agarwal, President of SFA said, “Sports is the medium that can inspire and engage youth in an indescribable way. Sesa Community Development Foundation (SCDF) has immensely contributed through various CSR initiatives to the local communities. One of our key objectives therefore has been around nurturing football talent through the SFA and give to the nation our heroes in sport. Women’s football is a large part of this initiative as there is not enough infrastructure for women in football and SFA will strive to bridge this gap.”
The legendary Bhaichung Bhutia too had words of appreciation for the academy. He remarked,“It is lovely to be back in Goa. It brings back many memories of my childhood. The SFA has been doing a lot of good work in football by grooming players. It is good to see the revival with good coaches the academy has. I am sure the academy will produce good football talent. The time is apt as the nation now sees a great amount of interest generated around this sport.”