Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], October 28 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday launched India's first-ever FIFA Football for Schools Programme at the Kalinga Institute of Social Science (KISS), Bhubaneswar.
Football for Schools (F4S) is an ambitious worldwide 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.
Inaugurating the programme Patnaik said, "Investment in sports is an investment in youth. And investment in youth is an 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".
The launch ceremony was also virtually attended by Dr. Nik Gugger, Member of Parliament, Switzerland and Gianni Infantino, President, FIFA.
In his virtual address, Gugger said, "The State of Odisha, under the leadership of Naveen Patnaik, has been promoting sports in a big way and has created an example for the whole country."
Commending Dr. Achyuta 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 Football for Schools programme by FIFA in India at KISS is an outcome of his relentless contribution in the field of sports".
Congratulating the Chief Minister of Odisha for his initiatives in the promotion of sports, Infantino stated in his virtual address, "We are delighted to see Football for Schools launching in India today, one of the first countries in which it 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".
Promising all support from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KITT) KIIT & KISS for implementation of the programme, Dr Achyuta Samanta, MP Loksabha & founder KIIT & KIIS said "This initiative of the FIFA will make football accessible to all boys and girls from grassroots in the country". (ANI)