First Ever FIFA Football for School Programme Launched at KISS ‘Investment in Sports is Investment in Youth’: Shri Naveen Patnaik

Having an insurmountable record of producing a number of sports talents in numerous fields, Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS) has sprung up yet another pleasant trajectory.

KISS on 27th October, in an initiative never before, launched India’s first ever FIFA Football for School Programme at KISS. Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha virtually launched India’s first-ever FIFA Football for School Programme at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar on 27th October 2021.

Football for Schools (F4S) is an ambitious world-wide programme run by FIFA, which aims to contribute to the education, development and empowerment of around 700 million children. It seeks to make football more accessible to both boys and girls around the world.

Worthy Investment

Inaugurating the programme, an outcome of partnership between FIFA and KISS, Shri Patnaik said, “Investment in sports is investment in youth. And investment in youth is investment in the future. Such collaboration to incorporate football activities into the education system will make football more accessible to both boys and girls at the grassroots”.

Insuperable Record

Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, who has an insuperable record in promoting sports in Odisha and nationwide, congratulated KIIT and KISS for sustainably creating a conducive ecosystem in channelising passion for sports and nurturing sporting talent and promoting it for the last two decades.

In a First in World

The FIFA Football for Schools Programme has been initiated in KISS for the first time in the World. Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS had been in touch with the FIFA President for the last one and half years for this programme.

The launch ceremony, which was held under strict Covid-19 protocol, was virtually graced Dr. Nik Gugger, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Switzerland and Mr. Gianni Infantino, President, FIFA, while Shri Tusharkanti Behera, Hon’ble Minister, Sports & Youth Services and Electronics & Information Technology, Govt. of Odisha; Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS; Mr. Kushal Das, General Secretary – AIFF; Mr. Youri Djorkaeff, CEO – FIFA Foundation and other dignitaries were in attendance in person.

In his virtual address, Dr. Nik Gugger said, the State of Odisha, under the leadership of Shri Naveen Patnaik, has been promoting sports in a big way and has created an example for the whole country. Commending Dr. Samanta’s contributions to sports he said, “Dr. Samanta has created unparalleled sports infrastructure and invested in sports and sportspersons that is now yielding returns. This first ever initiative of the Football for Schools programme by FIFA in the world is an outcome of his relentless contribution in the field of sports”.

Congratulating the Chief Minister of Odisha for his revolutionary initiatives in promotion of sports, Mr. Gianni Infantino stated, “We are delighted to see Football for Schools launching in India today, one of the first countries in the world which has been introduced. Football for Schools is a programme which unites football and education. It has been created to support schools and teachers in inspiring children to learn life skills through fun football sessions”. Addressing the gathering virtually, he said, under the guidance of Dr. Samanta, KIIT & KISS have been creating sports infrastructure and handholding sportspersons since 2005. He wished the FIFA Football for Schools programme at KISS a huge success.

“Under the visionary leadership of Shri Naveen Patnaik, Odisha has become a sports hub and Bhubaneswar a sports capital. He has not forgotten to nurture sports at grassroots”, Dr. Samanta said. This revolutionary initiative of the President of FIFA will make football accessible to all boys and girls in India, he said, while promising all support from KIIT & KISS for implementation of the programme.

A Run Up to a New Horizon 

In the run up to the launch of FIFA Football for School Programme, a three-day ‘Capacity Building Workshop – Train the Trainer’ was conducted by FIFA at KISS from 25th October. As many as 100 Physical Education teachers from all districts of Odisha and over 100 football players from KIIT & KISS participated in the training programme, which included both classroom as well as field sessions.

Among others, Shri R. Vineel Krishna, IAS, Commissioner cum Secretary, Sports & Youth Services Department, Govt. of Odisha; Shri Debashish Samantaray, President – Football Association of Odisha; Shri Asirbad Behera, Secretary; Mr. Alexandre Gros, Project Leader, FIFA Football for Schools along with other senior officials of FIFA were present.