'Kick-Off' fails to get off the ground as pandemic hit schools

PT Muhammed Jasim

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Photo: http://www.sportskeralakickoff.org/

Malappuram: 'Kick-Off', an ambitious project of the Kerala Sports and Youth Affairs Department, has lost its initial momentum due to Covid-19. The project, aimed for grass-root level football training for children within the 9-12 age group, was modelled from football nurturing programmes in Europe. After its announcement during the previous government and initial attempts, the project got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now there is no talk about it despite the schools resuming regular academic exercises.

The project was inaugurated by former sports minister EP Jayarajan in 2018. Schools were selected from across the state to provide training. Initially, a total of 600 students were enlisted at 19 training institutes in the state. A website was also launched to enrol the students. Currently, the website is not updated or provides details on recent developments.

The training was provided twice a week for one-and-half hours. The children were provided with food and training kits. A coach and assistant coach were assigned to each centre to provide training. Further, there were plans to bring in foreign coaches to train these children. A committee was constituted to overlook the training at the school and state levels.

The school authorities said the training abruptly ended with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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