Union Minister for Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, attended the Kick-off programme for the distribution of footballs as part of the Football for Schools (F4S) at Cuttack today. He distributed footballs at PM Shri Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Mundali, Cuttack under this programme, which is run by Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Education is supported by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Sports Authority of India (SAI) in the implementation of this programme in the Country. Officials of the Ministry and other agencies involved were also present at the function. Shri Pradhan kicked a football to inaugurate the programme.
To implement the F4S programme in India, FIFA is contributing more than 11 lakh footballs for distribution in various schools pan India. Out of these, 8,60,000 footballs have already been reached in India. The kick-off of the distribution of balls started today from Cuttack, Odisha. Gradually the footballs will be distributed throughout the country in a phased manner. More than 1.50 lakh schools will be the beneficiaries under this programme. District NVS will be the nodal distribution centre throughout the country. Footballs will be distributed based on the enrolment in upper primary to Higher Secondary level schools having playgrounds. In the first phase, a total of 16 districts from 5 states (Odisha, Goa, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Kerala) have been selected for distribution.
An MoU was earlier signed between the Ministry of Education, AIFF and FIFA on 30 October 2022. Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya is the Nodal organization for the F4S programme.
F4S aims to contribute to the education, development, and empowerment of around 700 million children across the world. It seeks to make football more accessible to both boys and girls by incorporating football activities into the education system, in partnership with relevant authorities and stakeholders.
Through the F4S programme, the aim has also been to significantly broaden the accessibility of football for students, regardless of gender, within the school setting, while seamlessly integrating football-related activities into the education system in collaboration with various stakeholders. By fostering partnerships at different levels, the programme wishes to instil a sense of enthusiasm for the sport, laying the foundation for a lasting sports culture that goes beyond individual schools. It will not only introduce the joy of playing football to students but also infuse values of teamwork, discipline, and fitness, contributing to their holistic development.