Mumbai District Football Association (M.D.F.A) and I-League club Mumbai Football Club joined hands to celebrate AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Grassroots Football Day on May 15th, 2016 at St. Xavier's ground, Parel. An approximate 80 children from the age group of 6-12 years (Boys and Girls) assembled to be part of a one-day event planned to educate the participants on Football. The players practiced exercises and basic skills, and played small-sided games (SSG).
The 2 hour-long grassroots festival was organized by Mumbai F.C and carried-out successfully under the dutiful watch of Mumbai F.C's Head of Youth Development and Assistant Coach, Kundan Chandra and Bodyline F.C's Head Coach, John Marcellus. Alongside were the helping hands of Licensed Instructors, volunteers from the M.D.F.A and parents of the participating children.
Volunteers Chandra Kewdan, Amit, Sudeep, Marshall, Chauhan, Rohit Mourya, Krishna, Avishkar, Aditya Ukale, Krishna Iyer, Abdul, Ajay, Rohan and Aniket Singh instructed the players on various drills, exercises and decision making situations. "We need to work on the physical and the psychological ability of the children; for them to cope under situations by formulating correct decisions at a given time," said Kundan Chandra.
"Grassroots development refers to the overall development of the community and society, and not only football." - Mumbai F.C's Head of Youth Development, Kundan Chandra
"The 'D' Instructor course by WIFA (Western India Football Association) focuses on the preparing the coach for the grassroots. With the 'D' licenses, now, it is excellent for the coaches to provide children the right knowledge, in the right way and at the right time," explained Bodyline F.C's Head Coach, John Marcellus.
"We should acknowledge the enthusiasm of the kids who have turned-up to be a part of the festival. The M.D.F.A have and will continue to develop the grassroots in the city," expressed M.D.F.A's Hon. Secretary Udayan Banerjee.
The growing popularity for the sport in Mumbai amongst the youth has no competition in the country, arguably. But it remains a pending opportunity for the M.D.F.A and the clubs in the city to grasp upon by providing education and spreading awareness to parents and their children.