The city is likely to get a Blind Football Academy (BFA), the first ever exclusive academy for differently-abled talents in the country soon.
The Society for Rehabilitation of Visually Challenged (SRVC) and the Indian Blind Federation (IBFF) are making an effort to establish the same.
According to Times of India news report, The orientation camp scheduled prior to the second edition of the All India Invitational Blind Football Tournament, which is scheduled to be held by April-end under the aegis of SRVC and IBFF at Aluva Blind School Grounds, will set the tone for identifying the best talents from across the country.
“Our aim is to start the academy to train and develop the best players to create a national team of world class standard. The players will be given vocational skill training in computers and foot reflexology to ensure a parallel source of income when they are not engaged in matches, especially for those who do not end up successfully in pursuing football as a profession,” said Sunil J Mathew, sporting director at IBFF who is spearheading the blind football project.
Sunil, who is also the secretary of SRVC, said that the basic infrastructure (a ground and a hostel facility) has been identified in the city.
“The aim will be to provide round-the-year training to players with nutritional diet and fitness training. Those who wish to pursue their studies will be allowed to do so during day time by securing a transfer to local schools or colleges. Our aim is to keep improve the game so as to qualify for the Paralympics by 2024,” said M C Roy, head of projects at the SRVC.
The team which has been working with the Paralympic Committee of India to promote blind football in the country, including setting up the first national blind football team in 2013 that presently ranks 23rd in the world, is looking for sponsors and partners for the setting up and running the academy.