Society for Transformation, Inclusion and Recognition through Sports (STAIRS) and Gujarat State Football Association (GSFA) have entered into an agreement to jointly develop the football culture across the state. The organizations will be conducting the STAIRS School Football League (SSFL) together in the state. The objective of the association is to create opportunities for budding players at the grassroots and complement the developing sporting culture in the state of Gujarat. The organizations plan to meet this objective by introducing SSFL across all districts of Gujarat.
“We are glad that STAIRS has brought SSFL to Gujarat as this will create enormous scouting opportunities to scout talent at grassroots. The league will fill the major gap as there has been no professionally managed platform of such a scale in the state for young footballers to showcase their talent.
“The mission of SSFL is completely in sync with the objective of GSFA which is to build football culture, create multiple opportunities for footballers and introduce sustainable and scalable programmes that can position Gujarat as a sporting state.
“We are proud to have partnered STAIRS and are looking forward to the promising outcomes of this association,” said ShriGulabChauhan, Secretary, Gujarat State Football Association.
Siddhartha Upadhyay, Founder & Secretary General of STAIRS Foundation said, “We had launched SSFL in Ahmadabad and Gandhi Nagar last year and were surprised by the overwhelming response from the footballers at the grassroots. Hence, we planned to scale up the league and take it to every possible district in the state.
“The support from the sporting fraternity from Gujarat has been appreciable and we are glad to have partnered GSFA to conduct SSFL across the state. The expertise of GSFA, its understanding of the grassroots and the knowledge of the game will play a significant role in successful implementation of the league and meet its objectives.
““Organizing SSFL in Gujarat in association with GSFA will also create several economic opportunities for the sports fraternity at the grassroots level, especially for the coaches, referees and other sports-related ancillary businesses in Gujarat.”
SSFL, which is the world’s largest talent scouting and training programme, had launched in Gujarat (Ahmadabad and Gandhi Nagar) last year and had engaged about 1,200 footballers from 64 schools. The league witnessed nearly 100 matches being played under the FIFA format. This season will see participation from almost all districts of Guajart and the size of the programme in the state is expected to grow by ten times.
The Gujarat State Football Association (GSFA) is the governing body for football in the state of Gujarat. The Association is one of the 36 Indian State Football Associations that are affiliated to the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
Society for Transformation, Inclusion and Recognition through Sports (STAIRS)
STAIRS is a not-for-profit organization working towards sports, education, health and skill development of children across India.
The organization is driven by the mission to facilitate the process of creating an enabling environment for children to exercise their 'right to play' and create a support system to elevate them. Its vision is to guide youth for their holistic development by channelizing their energy towards meaningful activities, thus bringing about a positive and constructive thinking that results in prosperity.
STAIRS programmes include training camps, tournaments and championships, thus providing a platform to these children to hone their skills and showcase their talent. STAIRS taps in to the potential talent and provides opportunity to climb up the stairs of social empowerment and shape character by inculcating a sense of belongingness in the society. Some of the STAIRS beneficiaries are currently playing at the national and international circuits and earn laurels for the country.
STAIRS is currently the largest organization that ensures youth development through sports. With focus on achieving Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) through sports, over 200,000 children play – without having to spend a penny – 'every day' at 400 STAIRS Training Centres in over 4,000 villages across 7 states in India. Over 2,000,000 lives have already been touched and changed through STAIRS' interventions and the organization is steadily scaling and increasing its reach with an aim to touch one billion lives by 2020.
* More about STAIRS: http://www.stairs.org.in/
*About STAIRS School Football League (SSFL), the world’s largest football talent scouting and training programme: http://ssfl.in/
*STAIRS is the 'Best NGO for Promoting Sports in India' as adjudged by FICCI India Sports Award 2015.
*STAIRS is also a part of the Steering Committee under Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, for FIFA U-17 World Cup, BRICS U-17 Tournament; Mission XI Million Programme and Pilot Programme of Subroto Mukerjee Sports Education Society. Hence, the facilities shared with them will complement the efforts of the ministry towards development of grassroots sports in the country.