Mumbai City FC joined hands with AIFF to conduct a grassroots leadership workshop from 5th to 7th February at the Vidyadhiraja School and Junior College in Bhandup, Mumbai. A total of 27 participants attended the three-day workshop with girls comprising nearly 50% of the group. The workshop, headed by chief instructor, Dinesh Nair, included both theoretical as well as practical sessions, and on the last day, the participants organised a grassroots festival.
Numerous participants were from the host school itself, and as part of the theory sessions, they learnt about grassroots philosophy, the importance of small-sided games, characteristics of age groups, fair play and racism, coordination agility and motor skills, football laws and fundamentals, as well as management and injury prevention techniques.
As part of the practical sessions, participants took part in 4-v-4, 5-v-5, 7-v-7 and 9-v-9 games over the two days. Once the training sessions were over, it was up to the participants to practice everything they had learnt as they organised the grassroots festival on February 7th.
The festival was attended by close to a 100 children, and the participants had to pick different coaching roles, while designing the festival, and conduct theory sessions before it even started. The festival was an overwhelming success, and the entire three-day workshop helped empower a number of youth, giving them a chance to organise football sessions and other such festivals by themselves in the future.
The idea behind the workshop was to train the leaders of tomorrow and create a new generation of grassroots leaders who will help make a valuable difference by passing the torch on to those younger than them.
We’re glad to see ISL teams like Mumbai City FC taking up the grassroots cause, and making a positive difference to youth in the city. At the same time, it is important that ISL clubs invest more time and effort in their grassroots programs, especially in the off-season, when more resources can be channelled towards these foundational activities.