Football tourney for kids in Chennai

Chennai: The fifth edition of Great Goals Annual Tournament will be held on 7 and 8 September at YMCA, Nandanam.

According to a release, the tournament will have a participation of 480 players with 48 teams. It will also have the introduction of a new under-8 age category.

Established by Priya Gopalen, an engineer from BITS-Pilani, and Sandhya Rajan, a Masters-level Gold Medalist in Science from the University of Madras, two mothers, in the year 2013, who wanted to give their children sports training of an excellent quality, Great Goals is now Chennai’s largest football programme for children, offering comprehensive and structured sports coaching for ages 16 and under, the release added.

The programme is designed to provide a healthy, safe environment for children of all genders and ages. Accredited by the All-India Football Federation (AIFF), it offers highly structured football and basketball training for children at different locations across the city.

Great Goals has inspired hundreds of children to make sports an integral part of their lives, either recreationally or competitively.

Among the programme’s unique features are special modules for girls, which encourage them to continue to play beyond early childhood.

Speaking on the programme, Gopalen says, ‘At Great Goals, we believe that football is not only a wonderful sport, but that playing it inculcates lifelong skills and character traits like willpower and integrity, which are useful for a growing child both on and off the field. Our aim is to popularise the sport and make it widely accessible so that as many children as possible can experience the joy it brings.’

Speaking on the Great Goals Annual Tournament, Rajan says, ‘Our annual tournament seems to grow every year, and what used to be a one-day competition is now a two-day event, with 480 players competing in a league stage and then a knockout stage. This year, we are also especially excited about our new under-8 age category. That kids so young can participate at this level is a testament to the quality of our training, which prepares them for competitive games in a fun yet disciplined way.’