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Sikkim Sports & Youth Affairs Department and Bhaichung Bhutia Football School (BBFS) have come together to promote football.

The initiative is also to produce more footballers from different corners of the State.

This collaboration was formally announced by secretary of Sports & Youth Affairs Department, Kuber Bhandari and BBFS founder, Bhaichung Bhutia at a press conference at Paljor Stadium on Thursday.

The joint venture between SYA department and BBFS has the main motive to hunt talented footballers in U-13 and U-15 years age group categories from the grassroots level.

The best footballer in U-13 and U-15 will get scholarship and exposure from BBFA initially for two years.

Addressing the press conference, Bhandari stated this was the first collaboration between Sports & Youth Affairs Department and BBFS to promote football and to bring out more talented footballers from different corners of the State.

He mentioned that coaching camps will be organized initially in the district-level by taking talented footballers from grassroots level in U-13 and U-15 categories under the programme, ‘Prince of Football’.

He added that district-level teams in both categories will be formed after 20-days of coaching camp to represent their respective district in the state-level competition.

“After the state-level competition, the state-level team will be formed in each category by spotting talented players from different districts,” he said.

This U-13 and U-15 teams of the State will be taken by BBFS for exposure trip,” he added.

The secretary informed that after the exposure trip, the best footballer each in U-13 and U-15 category will get the scholarship and exposure trip to clubs in Europe by BBFS initially for two years.

Likewise, Bhaichung Bhutia said two talented footballers from the State would get BBFS scholarship in its residential academy and exposure trips to clubs in Europe.

He mentioned that scholarship can be extended on the basis of the progress and improvement of the player.

He stated that BBFS was started 10 years back and highest rated football academy by the All India Football Federation.

He mentioned that BBFS has been providing coaching to more than 300 children everyday through 75 training centres and more than 200 coaches and has started residential academy one year back at Gurgaon and second residential academy was coming up in Kerala.

Bhaichung informed that BBFS has running its scholarship programme since last eight years and many scholarship holders have already played for the country in different age groups.

“We always wanted to work for Sikkim and we are thankful to the State Government, minister and SYA department for this tie-up to work to bring our more talented footballers from the grassroot of Sikkim,” he expressed.

He hoped for the success of the joint venture.

He informed that the 20-days district-level coaching camp will start in all district from December 5 next which will be followed by the state-level competition and Delhi exposure trip to U-13 and U-15 teams of the State was scheduled to be held in March next year.

“We have lots of talented footballers in the rural parts of the State and they just need such platform and exposure to go the higher levels,” he added.

“We will work hard to bring out talented footballers from different corners of the State,” Bhaichung also said.

He stated that BBFS wants to continue this programme every year.

Sagar Chhetri

Sagar Chhetri is Northeast Now Correspondent in Gangtok. He can be reached at: sagchhetri@gmail.com