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Reliance Foundation, Mizoram Football Association join hands to build grassroots-level competitive pathway

MUMBAI: Reliance Industries' corporate social responsibility arm Reliance Foundation and Mizoram Football Association have joined hands to expand, transform and create a complete hyper-local pathway and decentralised approach to grassroots football in the northeastern state through Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) Naupang (Children) League.

The Naupang League aims to develop local ecosystems and enable aspiring and talented footballers as young as five-year-olds, both boys and girls, to gain competitive and practice exposure, a Reliance Foundation release said. The focus is on a broad base of multi-tier age-group engagements that operate all through the year and meaningfully engage players, it said.

Reliance Foundation Founder Chairperson Nita M Ambani said, "Football is a way of life in Mizoram, woven into its social and cultural fabric. This partnership between RF Young Champs and Mizoram Football Association will provide high-quality training to talented young boys and girls. It will enable budding footballers as young as five years of age gain competitive exposure and enhanced play time."

"I'm excited about the immense possibilities it will open up for children in Mizoram, a state that is heavily invested in football. At RFYC, we remain committed to unlocking the potential of grassroots football across India and helping aspiring footballers achieve their full potential," she added.

Lalnghinglova Hmar, Honorary Secretary, Mizoram Football Association and Executive Committee Member, AIFF, said, "We are extremely happy with the partnership forged between Mizoram Football Association and Reliance Foundation, and this project can be a game-changer for Mizoram and Indian Football."

"The community participation in the proposed Naupang League will add a different dimension to the competition as it will be a collective participation of kids, parents and the local community which will drive and motivate the team like never before and fuel the competitiveness of the league.

The pilot project in Mizoram which we are confident will be successful, can be used as a blueprint for grassroots development, and the first of its kind, in Indian football," Hmar added.

The release said that the RFYC Naupang (Children) League would be hosted in four locations in Mizoram with two models of the league structure.

The Mizoram FA and district FAs will host the leagues in Lunglei and Kolasib, enabled by RFYC, while 2 leagues in Aizawl and Champhai will be owned and operated by Reliance Foundation Young Champs. The age categories begin at Under 06 and continue until Under 13 years with multiple game formats. A minimum of 30 games will be played by the kids. RF Young Champs will further integrate with RF Youth Sports in the region to ensure additional games and competitive exposure to deserving players.

The Mizoram football ecosystem is set to benefit immensely from Reliance Foundation's Young Champs as the programme includes coach education and development; referee development; weekly coaching programme for kids; quarterly camps (local) for emerging elite; enabling inter district championship; and Reliance Foundation Young Champs camps in Mumbai for Best of the Best and understating match-day operations better.


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