New Delhi: As the three-day Chelsea football club's clinic here came to an end, Chelsea FC College Academy head coach Julian Hart said their main aim in holding the camp was development of football in India and bringing out the passion for the sport among kids.
"Our main motive here is football development. Obviously three days is not a long time but it's all about showing the kids how it is actually done and then bringing out the passion in them to take football seriously," Hart told IANS.
"We wanted to interact with as many children as possible to point them in the right direction."
Hart said it was important to instil a footballing-based education culture in countries that were weak in the sport.
"It's very important to have education and football-based schools, so that children can do academics and sport side by side. If a player shows exceptional talent then it's the school's duty to nurture that talent. This way more and more competent footballers as well as human beings will come out of the schools," said Hart.
"It's all about giving children ample opportunities, give them a proper insight so that they can choose a proper career option," he added.
The foundation clinic, held May 31-June 2, was preceded by a two-day scouting camp on May 25-26 at Modern School, Barakhamba Road. Later, close to 400 kids from leading schools in the city, including Vasant Valley, GD Goenka, Shri Ram and British School, honed their skills at the camp at the Ambedkar Stadium here.
The scouting camp yielded 180 of the best footballing talent from the city to be coached by the Chelsea youth coaches. The youth coaches also held a master-class training session with the respective school coaches, sharing essential training techniques to improve talent coaching and development.
A selection trial was conducted one week prior to the clinic, which saw over 400 kids showcase their skills to earn their ultimate footballing experience. Sixty kids were coached each day.
The Adidas Chelsea FC Foundation Clinic was an open invitation to the city's schools and garnered an overwhelming response. This is the second time the Europa League champions were in the city after their 2012 stint.
The 180 kids at the end received medals from Chelsea for participating and showing enthusiasm for the sport. The coaches also picked nine Most Valuable Players (MVPs) each day, based on their passion, enthusiasm and techniques grasped at the clinic. These kids were awarded prizes ranging from adidas caps, backpacks and the latest football boots - nitrocharge.
The Chelsea youth coaches are excited and gearing up for their next visit to the country later this year and this time they are heading to Mumbai for another adidas Chelsea FC Foundation Clinic.