Delhi boy Kshitij Kumar Singh, a prodigy of Reliance Foundation Young Champs has joined the Holland based NEC Nijmegen club for its Under-15 youth squad.
NEC Nijmegen is a professional football club which competes in the Dutch Eerste Divisie. Its youth teams feature at the highest level in Dutch Youth Leagues and compete against top European clubs in international tournaments.
Kshitij, a second-year batch student of Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) residential football program, had been to the Netherlands for two rounds of trials with PSV Eindhoven and NEC Nijmegen earlier this year before his selection to the NEC youth team.
The 13-year-old started playing football at the age of 6 initially with Bhaichung Bhutia Academy and then at FCB Escola. The forward was an early talent to be spotted by Piet Hubers, Technical Director of ISL Grassroots at the Delhi Dynamos Scouting Festival for RFYC scholarship in 2016. Since last June, Kshitij has participated in 29 competitive and friendly games, scoring 31 goals and provided 25 assists for RFYC.
Mrs Nita Ambani, Founder Chairperson of the Reliance Foundation termed Kshitij’s selection at NEC youth team to be a bench mark for more opportunities for Indian talents.
“We are extremely proud of the progress made by the 48 champions. Children like Kshitij Kumar are the future of Indian football. He is dedicated and disciplined at this young age which makes him a force to reckon with on the ground. We are sure he will pave a way for more scouting from foreign countries in India as well as increase the belief among players here to play in the best leagues in the World.”
RFYC, started in 2015, has amplified ISL clubs’ grassroots initiatives to spot talented children across the country between the ages of 11 and 14. Through robust talent scouting system, the deserving children are offered full-time residential scholarships by RFYC at Navi Mumbai. Today there are 48 scholars in the RFYC Programme.
Speaking of his selection, Kshitij said, “I’m very excited to join NEC Youth team. I want to thank all my coaches and fellow players at RF Young Champs who have motivated me to perform better continuously. I want to thank Mrs Ambani especially for all her support, and for providing me with the opportunity and belief to be the best. I would love to play for the Indian National Team in the future.”
Reliance Foundation is actively involved in promoting multiple sports in India through a number of large-scale grassroots initiatives, with a focus on developing young talent. Their initiatives such as Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS), Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) and the Reliance Foundation Junior NBA programme have together had an impact on the lives of more than seven million children in India.