The 6th edition of the QPR-South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenger 2014 in association with English Premier League club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) will kick-off on Saturday, November 8, 2014. This event, which has gained tremendous popularity and growth, is an initiative of Milind Deora.
South Mumbai will witness exciting football packed weekends during the month of November as India’s largest community football tournament will enthrall the city. The event is conceived and managed by Saran Sports.
The Title Sponsors of the Challenger are Aditya Birla Group and Essar and the event is co-sponsored by Relativity-B4U and Smaaash. The partners are Britannia, Tang and Nike.
The Championship would also serve as a talent hunt for 40 talented youngsters, who will be shortlisted for a coaching clinic that will be conducted exclusively by the Queens Park Rangers (QPR) coaching teams from UK, in December.
This year, the tournament will witness around 6000 children from over 134 schools representing 700 teams and playing over 900 matches, with boys’ and girls’ teams in the Under-10, Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16 categories. The matches will be conducted at Mumbai’s Western Railway football ground, Lower Parel. The Championship is open to all South Mumbai schools including private schools, government aided and Mmunicipal schools which comprise 85% of the participants. The tournament will provide an equal and fair opportunity to kids from different backgrounds to showcase their talent and skills on a common platform.
Talking about the Championship, Milind Deora (Ex-Member of Parliament & Ex-Union Minister) said, “Football is a growing passion amongst today’s youth. By organising such Championships I hope to provide a platform for 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 Programme Andy Evans said, “We have been associated with the South Mumbai Junior Soccer Championship for the last five 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.”
6th QPR-South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenger 2014 at a glance
For Boys & Girls (between 6 to 16 years)
In numbers – 134 Schools, 700 teams, 924 matches, 6000 players, 88% of Municipal & Government aided schools, 27% – participation from Girls.
Dates & Timings (9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.)
Sat 8 & Sun 9 November 2014
Sat 15 & Sun 16 November 2014
Sat 22 & Sun 23 November 2014
FINALS – Saturday 29th November
// Venue – Western Railway Sports Ground, Tulsi Pipe Road
// Format – The event shall be of a 5-A-Side competition.
// Multiple pitches shall be set up at the venue.
// Matches shall be played on a league cum-knock out basis.
// The event is totally free for the participants and all the children are given kitting and refreshments on match days. Besides the municipal children are also given football boots and travel allowance.
// The Championship serves as an ideal platform for talented youngsters to showcase their skills. In the past children from municipal schools have not got any platform to compete in tournaments thereby depriving them an opportunity to showcase their skills. This event serves as a Talent Hunt.
// The event is conducted in association with QPR FC (Queens Park Rangers Football Club) English Football Club which is based in London.
// Talent scouts shall be short listing 40 talented youngsters to take part in a workshop to be conducted by QPR in December 2014.
// The QPR coaches will visit Mumbai and conduct a four-day coaching camp in India for the shortlisted children. The QPR coaches will identify two children to visit the QPR Football Academy, UK for a two-three week coaching programme in 2015 on mutually convenient dates.
Last year the event was a grand success with over 640 teams and over 5,100 children participating.