New Delhi : Four years into its existence, the Under-10 football tournament in New Delhi has now grown from 10 teams to 16 teams. And a full time sponsor will give the game a much needed financial boost. But this is not a one off initiative. Grassroots development of the game in the capital has been an ongoing process now for quite some time and many believe that the best is yet to come. "School soccer is very strong in Delhi. We have an U-10 and U-14 league and at the senior level there are lot of school tournaments going on. What is needed now is a good U-16 Inter-Club tournament," says Tushar Dev, Manager, Simla Youngs Football Club. Long term benefits While the linkage may still be sometime away, it's the effort that counts. People like Tushar Dev and Bill Adams have been trying to promote the world's most popular game at the junior level whole heartedly. Infact the objective of starting such a tournament was not just to spread awareness of the game in a cricket conscious city like Delhi but to give long term benefits to Indian soccer in particular. "We started a website called kick-off 2010.com. We wanted to popularise the game amongst the 10 year olds, who will be the 20s in the year 2010," adds Tushar. The eventual aim of such junior tournaments is too produce a good crop of players for the future. And while the All India Football Federation may not be serious in it's efforts to promote the game at the grassroots level, it is now left to the efforts of private individuals and schools to do so.
Topics : Football