Friday morning just couldn’t have been brighter. There were dark clouds overhead and the Heavens were opening up every alternate five minute. But it failed to the dampen the spirits of the 60 kids aged 6-12 who had come over for the Festival at the Father Agnel School Ground in Navi Mumbai.
|Wim Koevermans presents a football to a kid during the Football Festival|
The kids got drenched in the rain; the parents took shelter under the bright umbrellas in the galleries. None ran away. Only the kids ran with and after the ball on the turf.
“The Festival was a huge success. It was evident the kids were enjoying every bit of it. But I felt the Coaches enjoyed it more than them. It was an opportunity for the Coaches to show their personalities and behave in a practical manner,” Rob Baan, Technical Director, AIFF, commented.
“It was wonderful to see a new generation enjoying themselves on the field. The challenge stays where and how do we nurture and coach them. But we will have to,” Wim Koevermans, National Coach of India, opined.
Never a miser to compliment the tiny tots, the Coaches encouraged the kids as they tried to dribble, fumbled, fell down but got up immediately to recover. The 60 kids were divided into 10 teams and each of the teams got a chance to participate in each of the sessions which ranged from a match to skill testing to shooting, etc.
Trisha, the sole girl among the 60 kids summed up the sentiment. “Can’t we play for another ten minutes?” she queried to her Coach Gautam Ghosh as the session unfolded. Every kid was presented with a football by Baan, Koevermans and Father Almeida, Managing Director, Father Agnel Group of Schools.
“This sort of Festival should be a part of the curriculum. We need to have ten such festivals in a week organised all over the country,” Scott O’Donell, Technical Director, Regional and Elite Academies, maintained.
The day also witnessed Raymond Farrelly, Coach FX, making a presentation on animation analysis of various match related coaching sessions as the five-day Coaching Seminar came to an end.
“Such Seminars need to be repeated more often. We intend to organise it in every state. But the manpower and the financial aspects stay the biggest challenge,” Baan concluded.