Shillong, Dec 22:¬†Grassroots football is important in developing the sport from the ground up, but you can’t have a good grassroots system without a solid base and the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided to multiply its efforts with the launch of a new Grassroots Leaders Course for 2019, the governing body said on its website today.

To manage the task of monitoring the course next year, the AIFF has set up a core team of lead instructors who will assist AIFF Head of Grassroots Development Anju¬†Turambekar. One of the core team is Arki Nongrum (pictured second left), who is also the Meghalaya Football Association’s CEO. The others are Bijish Ben (Kerala), Dinesh Nair (Maharashtra), Shailesh Karkera (Tamil Nadu), CM Deepak (Kerala) and Shekhar Kerkar (Goa).

The grassroots course had previously been based on FIFA’s Grassroots Philosophy and was later amended to include the redefined philosophy of the AFC.

Turambekar has been heading a dedicated team of grassroots instructors over the past few months in reviewing the entire course content over the past few months in Goa, in which Nongrum has also taken part.

“We called upon some of the brightest and most experienced instructors to make up the grassroots content review team,” AIFF’s Technical Director Savio Medeira was quoted as saying. “In the two workshops that were conducted, we must have come up with over 100 different suggestions but the key was to latch on to the ones that were relevant to the current demands of the modern day game.”

One of the changes to the grassroots course will be the increase of practical sessions for the benefit of the participants, which will take the course from three days to four.

The revised curriculum will also now feature new topics, like those on baby leagues, futsal, a child protection policy, nutrition and parent education.

Another big change is that from 2019 anyone who wants to pursue AIFF and AFC coaching courses must sit for the grassroots programme.

(Photo credit: All India Football Federation)

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