Indian Students Awarded Spanish Football Schools Scholarship
| Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief, IOP, Kolkata - 17 May 2019

Indian Students Awarded Spanish Football Schools Scholarship

By Didhiti Ghosh, Bureau Chief (Kolkata), Indian Observer Post

  • The students to travel to Spain to train with LaLiga Club, CD Leganés in May 2019
  • Founded in 1984, LaLiga (Liga de Fútbol Profesional) is a sports association comprising the 42 teams making up the first and second divisions of professional football in Spain
  • Launched in association with the Embassy of Spain in India and India on Track, LaLiga Football Schools Scholarships aims to reward the best Indian talent in the sport
  • The programme has benefited more than 12,000 Indian students in 40 centres across 14 cities
  • LaLiga also has an active foundation and is the world’s first professional football league with a league for intellectually challenged footballers

Kolkata / Mumbai, May 17, 2019: The LaLiga Football Schools Scholarship is being granted to four Indian students this year, two from Mumbai and two from Bangalore. The selected students will visit Spain from 26th May – 5th June 2019 to train with first division club, CD Leganés. During their visit, an immersive football experience will be created for the students with them being trained on various technical and non-technical aspects of the sport through sessions with club officials and Spain’s best youth players.

Founded in 1984, LaLiga (Liga de Fútbol Profesional) is a sports association comprising the 42 teams that make up the first and second divisions of professional football in Spain. LaLiga, based in Madrid, is responsible for the LaLiga Santánder and LaLiga 123 leagues and the television production, which in the 2016-17 seasons reached more than 2.5 billion people globally.

Launched in association with the Embassy of Spain in India and India on Track in 2018, LaLiga Football Schools Scholarships aims to reward the best Indian talent and fast-track their football goals annually. The students, selected through a scouting process in which 32 players are shortlisted from LaLiga Football Schools, will receive training from the one of LaLiga Clubs’ Academies. The programme has benefited more than 12,000 Indian students in 40 centres across 14 cities ever since.

The criteria of selection for the students is across various factors including technical skill, exemplary behaviour, attitude, demonstrated history of exceptional performance in LaLiga Football Schools and strong sporting values.

The selected students for the year 2018-19 are:

  1. Rian Katoch (Mumbai)
  2. Asik Shaikh (Mumbai)
  3. Ishan Murali (Bangalore)
  4. Vidwath Shetty (Bangalore)

José Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director, LaLiga India said, “These four students showcased exemplary technical skills and sporting values throughout their time at LaLiga Football Schools. We have always believed that India has strong potential to become a global footballing superpower and with this programme, young Indians will take their country one step closer to achieving the status. During their time with CD Leganés, the students will get a chance to train with the best coaches and youth of Spain which will surely have a strong impact on them.” 

H.E. José Ramón Barañano, Ambassador of Spain to India said, “We are delighted to support LaLiga in promoting football in India and investing in young and promising Indian players. Spain is certain of the key role that sports and football play in its public diplomacy strategy for India, mainly because football is a capital tool in promoting fundamental personal and social values such as inclusion, camaraderie, tolerance, perseverance and team-work. We are grateful to LaLiga for bringing these important values to Indian youth through Spanish football.”

LaLiga also has an active foundation and is the world’s first professional football league with a league for intellectually challenged footballers: LaLiga Genuine.

The relations that India and Spain can foster in the realm of the sport are well surfaced by the recent news of Brishti Bagchi, a Bangalore-based soccer enthusiast who may become the first Indian woman to play in the Spanish League. The 25-year-old has been offered an opportunity to train in professional football in Spain. If all goes well, she will be the first Indian woman to play in the Division 1 La Liga (Spanish League). In 2018, she trained for a month with the reserve teams of Madrid CFF, a Division 1 club.

“When football training camps come to the city, they should take in an equal number of boys and girls. Or maybe start taking in boys only after a certain number of girls has been taken in. In India, there are now some guys who are taking care of their families through football. I wish women could get the same opportunity,” she says.

In Image: José Antonio Cachaza, José Ramón Barañano

Image Courtesy: The ET, Embassy of Spain

(DIDHITI GHOSH is an India Columnist at La Agencia Mundial de Prensa, USA, and is the Bureau Chief of Indian Observer Post based in Kolkata. E-mail: didhiti.24@gmail.com | LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/2H6gNAv).


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