Premier India Football Academy’s event – ‘The Football Carnival’ benefited over 3000 people including kids, parents, coaches and the sports industry. The theme of the event was ‘Participate’ ‘Learn’ and ‘Enjoy’.
Over 800 kids participated in various contests such as a 5 a-side tournament, a Skills contest and a Freestyle contest. The Tournament consisted of two age groups; U-14 for boys and U-17 for boys and girls. The matches were played in a healthy and competitive spirit and officiated by quality referees. The ‘NIKE’ skills contest was divided into four zones; passing, shooting, dribbling and chipping. This tested the players’ true skill as their efforts were based on accuracy as well as time. Players with high scores won some exciting Nike goodies like shin guards, caps and t-shirts. There was also an entertaining Freestyle contest in which youngsters showed off their skills to rapturous applause from the watchingaudience. This contest hugely enhanced the entertainment factor as it brought an air of fun and excitement to the occasion. Prior to the carnival, hundreds of young kids took part in the online competitions such as ‘Design a PIFA Football kit’, ‘Create a Mascot’ and an essay on ‘India at the 2022 World cup’.
We would like to congratulate all the winners: The U-14 boys’ winners of the 5 a side tournament were the ‘Navy Public School’ while the U-17 was won by ‘Madanpura United’. The U-17 girls was won by ‘Parekh 8′; team captained by Kunashni Parekh who is the Goalkeeper for the Indian team. The Skills contest was won by Adnan Shaikh who demonstrated some wonderful control with the ball among his peers. Bilal Shaikh emerged as the winner of the electrifying freestyle competition.
Learning was a key ingredient of the carnival. Hourly seminars were conducted by experts from various fields of Sport which garnered a tremendous response among kids and parents who benefitted from topics such as ‘Careers in sport’ by ‘International Institute of Sports Management’, ‘Prevention of sport injuries’ by’Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital’ , ‘Sport psychology’ by ‘Miss. Amruta Karkhanis’, etc.
Visitors enjoyed watching fast paced contests as well as the stalls that exhibited all sport related goods and services. PIFA had exclusively set up a stall where one got the chance to purchase exciting PIFA merchandise. The other stalls included some big names like ‘Nike’, ‘Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital’, ‘Sporting Tools’, ‘Smart Nutrition’ and ‘Caxton Sports’. All these stalls showcased their new & innovative range of products and engaged the crowd by demonstrating their products. The Carnival also offered a wide variety of sumptuous food stalls. The Jumping Jack and Tattoo artist made the evening very enjoyable for the younger kids.
Mr. Henry Menezes, CEO of Western India Football Association which is the Governing body for Maharashtra State football and is affiliated to the All india Football Federation.was the chief guest for the evening and handed over the prizes to the winners. Menezes was the General Manager of Mahindra United Football club, Mumbai and was instrumental in creating Mumbai FC. A former India national football team goalkeeper, Menezes is a Shiv Chhatrapati Award winner for excellence in sports. In his speech Mr. Menezes mentioned the importance of events such as these and how it brings the football community together. He also spoke about the growing need of Parents to get involved in sport and support their children in achieving their goals.
Mr. Praful Patel (President AIFF), could not attend the event however he sent his best wishes and congratulated PIFA on its relentless endeavour in promoting and improving Indian football.
All the Students from the PIFA academy who have represented Maharashtra & India were felicitated at the ‘Football Carnival’ by Mr. Krishna Pawle & the honorary members of the Islam Gymkhana. In fact, all children that represented India from Maharashtra in the last 2 years have been from the academy.