Delhi: November 29, 2016: Former India captain and School Sports Promotion Foundation’s National Football Council Chairman Bhaichung Bhutia has expressed the belief that the National Talent Search and Nurture programme, launched in partnership with the Sports Authority of India offers school boys a wonderful opportunity to not only showcase their talent but also fine-tune it.
“I am very happy and excited to be part of SSPF as Chairman of its National Football Council,” Bhutia said. “I am looking forward to seeing SSPF’s National Talent Search and Nurture grow as one of the biggest football revolutions in India. I believe that we will be able to spot and groom talent by giving it a great platform.”
Bhutia recalled that he was himself a beneficiary of the Sports Authority of India’s Special Area Games scheme, earning for himself a scholarship to be able to attend a school in Gangtok. “It is very important that talent is identified early and nurtured well for us to be able to make a mark at the international level,” he said. “SSPF’s vision balances broad-basing with fine-tuning talent.”
The former India skipper said since football is hugely popular among schoolboys, he was sure that schools would participate in large numbers across the country. “We have a vast network of State and District Coordinators who are reaching out to schools to ensure that no talented boy misses out on this season’s competition,” he said.
In the inaugural year, as many as 880 matches were played by 436 schools in 14 States. SSPF picked 36 of the best players to attend a fortnight long National Camp at the SelaQui International School in Dehradun.. Besides football, NTSN will be held in Cricket, Basketball, Volleyball and Athletics in 2016-17. This year’s competition will begin on December 21.