The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), Bhubaneswar, launched the world’s first FIFA Football for School program at KISS in an unprecedented initiative. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, virtually started the program on October 27, 2021.
Football for Schools (F4S) is an ambitious FIFA global program designed to educate, develop and empower around 700 million children.
“Investing in sport is investing in youth and the future,” said Shri Patnaik at the opening of the program, a result of the partnership between FIFA and KISS. Shri Patnaik, who has an unmatched achievement in promoting sport in Odisha and across the country, congratulated KIIT and KISS for sustainably creating a conducive ecosystem in channeling the passion for sport over the past two decades.
Dr. Achyuta Samanta, founder of KIIT & KISS, had been in contact with the FIFA President for a year and a half for the FIFA Football for Schools program, which was first initiated worldwide in KISS.
The opening ceremony was practically organized by Dr. Nik Gugger, Hon’ble MP, Switzerland, and Gianni Infantino, President, FIFA, honored while Samanta; Kushal Das, Secretary General – AIFF; Youri Djorkaeff, CEO of the FIFA Foundation, and other dignitaries were present in person.
Recognizing Samanta’s contributions to sport, Nik Gugger said, “This is the first worldwide initiative by FIFA’s Football for Schools program as a result of Dr. Samanta’s tireless contribution to the field of sport.”
Gianni Infantino congratulated the Prime Minister of Odisha on his revolutionary initiatives to promote the sport, saying: “We are delighted that Football for Schools is launched today in India, one of the first countries in the world to introduce it.” Under the direction of Dr. Samanta, KIIT & KISS have been creating sports infrastructure and hand-held athletes since 2005.
“Under the visionary leadership of Shri Naveen Patnaik, Odisha has grown into a sports center and Bhubaneswar has become a sports capital. He has not forgotten to promote popular sports,” said Dr. Samanta. He promised any support from KIIT & KISS for the implementation of the program.
In advance of this, on October 25, FIFA held a three-day “Capacity Building Workshop – Train the Trainer” at KISS, in which 100 sports teachers from Odisha and over 100 soccer players from KIIT & KISS took part.
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(With inputs from ANI)
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