Stairs School Football League kicked-off at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi

League organized by NGO Stairs with support of Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Department of Education (DoE) NCT, Uflex Ltd. and Sports Authority of India to identify sporting talent at grassroots level in a structured championship-format

Supporting the cause of ‘Sports for Development’, NGO Stairs along with supporting partners Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Department of Education (DoE) NCT, UFlex Ltd. and Sports Authority of Indiakicked off the Stairs School Football League at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, today.The Stairs SFL in its first edition has 128 schools participating from the Delhi-NCR region. The schools were shortlisted amongst 500 entries received for the league.

The inaugural exhibition matchbetween teamsfrom GBSS, MotiBaghand CRPF school, Rohini was watched keenly by Guest of Honour His Excellency Michael Steiner (German Ambassador), Chief GuestMr. Ajit M. Sharan, Sports Secretary, Government of India, Special guest Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, CMD, Uflex Group and other distinguished guests includingMr. Satpal, Additional Director of Education, Sports & PE, along with Mr. Siddhartha Upadhyay, Secretary General, Stairs.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Siddhartha Upadhyay, Founder, Stairs said: “The showcase of talent in today’s match wasincredible and gaveus a picture of talent and sporting spirit present in thesechildren. We are glad we are able to provide them with an opportunity to harness their talent in the right direction. I thank all our special guests for their support and taking out time to support the cause of organized football championship at the grassroots level. Now we look forward to the league and may the best team win.”

Every team will get to play at least 3 matches. A total of 256 matches will be played during the tournament in adherence to the FIFA guidelines. The matches will be spread over 20 days with the final match being held on December 22, 2014.

The league intends to develop a well-organized grass root youth development program, through an organised championship league which will be committed towards structured professional training. This will also allow access to football to the children in their own environment. The idea of this league is that every enthusiastic boy between the age group of 14-17 gets an opportunity to play competitively.

The first edition of the league is limited to the Delhi-NCR region. However, Stairs will be taking it further to six other states in its next edition in 2015.

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