Bollywood superstar Salman Khan commemorated the 5th South Mumbai-Milind Deora Junior Soccer Championship, organised in association with English football club Queens Park Rangers FC (QPR), on Friday, October18, at the Western Railway Ground, Lower Parel.
The action hero, Salman, an avid soccer enthusiast, in the presence of South Mumbai MP Milind Deora, Aditya Mittal, son of Laxmi Mittal kick started the knockout phase of this Challenger. The event is the brain child of Milind Deora.
Over 5000 kids from over 137 schools, including municipal and government aided ones, are participating in this Challenger, which is India’s largest community football tournament.
The Challenger would also serve as a talent hunt for 30 talented youngsters who will be shortlisted for a coaching clinic that will be conducted exclusively by the Queens Park Rangers FC (QPR) coaching teams from UK. From this training camp, two of the most talented youngsters shall be selected for a three-four week long training stint at the Queens Park Rangers in-house academy in London.
Talking about the Challenger, Deora, a football lover said: “Football is a growing passion amongst today’s youth. By organising such championships I hope to provide a platform to the youth to exhibit their football skills. I hope to provide football enthusiasts with the necessary infrastructure and help the coaches identify talent. I am sure that with a cohesive effort, we will be able to popularize and develop the sport in India.”
QPR’s head of community program, Andy Evans said: “We have been associated with the Milind Deora Soccer championship for the last four years; the participants have been increasing and we have witnessed some astounding talent. Even though this championship aims at bringing the South Mumbai community together, I am sure we would find some serious talent here who might play for India or even in the English Leagues.”
The tournament is organised by Milind Deora Initiative and English Football Club Queens Park Rangers (QPR), in association with Aditya Birla Nuvo and Omkar Realtors and Developers and managed by Saran Sports. The tournament is also a talent search for budding footballers in Mumbai.