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Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Ushering In New Chapter For Grassroots Football In Kashmir

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The Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) will usher in an exciting new chapter with the introduction of one of India’s leading grassroots football competitions in the picturesque valleys of Kashmir.

RFYS will be conducting tournaments across three age categories (U-15, U-21 for boys, and U-19 for girls) as it embarks on a fresh journey in a region brimming with passion and pure love for the sport of football.

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With an eye on playing a pivotal role in giving wings to the dreams of budding athletes from Kashmir, RFYS has partnered with the Department of Higher Education (UT of Jammu & Kashmir) and the University of Kashmir for the Annual Inter College Boys tournament that is witnessing 29 teams squaring off in a total of 28 matches on-going from November 13-30, 2023, at the football ground of the varsity in Srinagar.

In addition, the RFYS U-15 Boys and U-19 Girls competitions will see 32 and 16 sides respectively from four districts of the Union Territory (UT) competing in the tournament.

“There is a lot of footballing talent in Kashmir. For RFYS to go there is a great initiative, and it is a good opportunity for youngsters to showcase their skills. There is a lot of potential amongst players in Kashmir and hopefully they can go on to play in the Indian Super League (ISL) and the national team,” Mehrajuddin Wadoo, former India international hailing from Kashmir, said in an interaction.

“When I was in Mumbai for the Next Generation Cup, it was so good to see Indian clubs competing against their foreign counterparts. If you give them an opportunity, you see youngsters like Mohammed Sanan from the Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) playing for Jamshedpur FC and he scored a goal as well in the ISL. For any age group, you need sufficient playing time and if the RFYS is giving you that then there is nothing better than it, but you have to be at your best because people are watching you closely,” Wadoo added, stressing upon the exposure and window of opportunities that a tournament like RFYS will open up for emerging footballers in the valley.

“The RFYS initiative is going to be very important for all the boys and girls who will participate in the competition. It will be a great opportunity and with people watching them play, it will be a good platform to show their talents. I wish the best of luck to all the participants. There is a lot of footballing talent in Kashmir and they required the stage that the RFYS will provide them. There is a lot of following for the sport there, and I hope it grows in the coming years. All stakeholders are working in coordination for the same and I hope more players from the region emerge and represent clubs in the ISL,” said Danish Farooq, who belongs to Srinagar and plays as a midfielder for Kerala Blasters FC.

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