In a bid to reach out to youngsters who may be attracted to crime, several agencies, including the city police, on Wednesday came together to announce a soccer project for the youth living in some challenging neighbourhoods of Kolkata.
The 'Kolkata Goalz' was announced by the Premier League, the British Council, Kolkata Police, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, All India Football Federation and Indian Football Association (West Bengal) in association with six city premier league clubs who will directly be involved in the delivery of the project.
The six clubs are Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, George Telegraph, Mohammedan Sporting, Police Athletic Club and United Sports Club.
The project is inspired by Kickz, an initiative that uses the power of football and appeal of professional football clubs to engage young people who may otherwise be difficult to reach in some of the most disadvantaged areas of England.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will formally launch the project July 6, state Sports Minister Madan Mitra told a media meet.
The training by the Premier League will start on Thursday.
"The long-term plan of this programme is to set up and deliver a sustainable model in Kolkata, which could then be potentially replicated across India in collaboration with other police departments, municipal authorities and football clubs," Mitra said.
The Kolkata Police have helped in the selection of the children, and in collaboration with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, have identified the grounds on which the Kolkata Goalz programme will be organised.