New Delhi, February 11: In order to encourage the football all over the nation, outreach program was launched on Friday in New Delhi. To spread the significance of the sport of football throughout the nation Minister of State for Sports Vijay Goel unveiled the official mascot of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, 'Kheleao' at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the presence of President of AIFF Shri Praful Patel.‘Kheleao’ the programme will encourage children to play the beautiful game of football, gain healthy habits and learn important life lessons in teamwork and sportsman spirit. The approach is to work with school principals and sports teachers and encourage and incentivize them to make children play football games on regular basis.
Speaking on the occasion Vijay Goel said that projects like ‘Kheleao’ India are helping towards developing sport at the ground level while our Olympic Task forces look to help our elite athletes bring glory to India in the international arena. With the FIFA U-17 World Cup being held in India in October this year, we are building our infrastructure and showcasing our ability to organize and execute global sporting events. It is not just the stadiums and grounds that need to be built.
"Presenting Kheleo as the official mascot to the world is another big step for our event. As the face of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, he will be going across the country to promote the tournament and to inspire kids and adults alike," the All India Football Federation president said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 as a great opportunity for youth that can start a revolution in sports throughout our country. In his words, this whole year there should be an atmosphere of football in the schools and colleges and around our country.
Vijay Goel said that it is a massive school engagement programme for football. Designed with international sporting expertise, but keeping in mind the ground realities of our huge and varied country, it aims to instill the passion for football in 11 million children from every part of the country.
He said, the key idea of Mission Xi Million is that every child should have the opportunity to play the world’s most popular sport. To make that happen, schools and parents must be equally involved in children’s physical well being. Goel said that Mission XI Million equips parents and schools with the equipment and the knowledge about how to make regular play a reality for their wards.
The Minister said, the program will be rolled out in every state of the country, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari from Kutch to Imphal. The initial activity has already started, and he is extremely encouraged by the response government is getting from the schools and children.