Partnership involves an exposure tour to Netherlands, setting up a joint professional club in Bengaluru. Kickstart FC, a state of the art football facility located in JP Nagar, is pleased to announce a tie-up with Dutch club FC SBC (Son en Breugel Combinatie) for the promotion of football at the grassroots level.
FC SBC, based in Son en Breugel just outside Eindhoven, play in the Fourth Sunday Division. It's a club known for its initiatives in developing the game among children, seniors, differently-abled and refugees.
The long-term collaboration with Kickstart FC involves an exposure tour, where a team of 30 children from the Kickstart FC Academy and Kickstart FC Foundation will get to train under the FC SBC coaches in Netherlands.
That apart, FC SBC will share its knowledge and human resource to set up a full-time Dutch coach at the Kickstart FC campus. The club has agreed to send a coach holding a UEFA Pro License to Kickstart FC.
Additionally, the Dutch side will conduct train-the-trainer programme in Netherlands and Bengaluru. It also will support Kickstart Foundation's grassroots programmes and provide access to international facilities for the underprivileged kids from the Foundation. The Kickstart FC Foundation supports more than 200 children in the football hot-beds of Gautamapura, Lingarajapuram and Murphy Town.
In more exciting news, FC SBC and Kickstart FC look to set up a professional SBC-Kickstart team that will participate in the Bangalore District Football Association's Super Division League, gradually looking to play in the I-League or Indian Super League. The club will be established later this year.
Announcing the tie-up, Mr Shekhar Rajan, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kickstart FC, said: “This path-breaking partnership between Kickstart FC-FC SBC is aimed at developing the game at all levels. It will give the UEFA touch to our coaching programmes. The collaboration is for a mutually-benefiting cause. While we look to provide international exposure to our Kickstart FC Academy children, FC SBC, who are involved in many more grassroots initiatives, look to broaden their horizons in global football markets. I am sure that the exposure trip will open new doors for our Academy and Foundation children. We hope to see them make the national team one day.”
Throwing some light on the Netherlands tour, Mr Laxman Bhattarai, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Kickstart FC, said: “This exposure will be a life-changing experience for our children. They will travel to Holland and train for about 10 days under the FC SBC coaches, who are recognised by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB). We’re planning to take about 22 children from the Kickstart FC Academy and eight from the Kickstart FC Foundation, whose expenses are fully sponsored by us. The children will also play matches against the age-group teams of top Dutch clubs like FC Eindhoven and Ajax Amsterdam in Netherlands. FC SBC will later send their age-group team to India for a couple of friendlies.”
Previously, Kickstart FC organised friendlies against Mohun Bagan and East Bengal in October 2017, where the children also witnessed the final of the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup. Kickstart FC also took a squad of 28, comprising 24 Academy and four Foundation players, to Nepal in December 2017 for friendlies against the Nepal junior national team and Pokhara state team.
Willem van’t Geloof, the chairman and president of FC SBC, said: “It bodes well for us to have this association with Kickstart FC, Bengaluru. We have been involved in promoting social developmental programmes through football since the club was established way back in 1939. We look forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise with Kickstart FC. I am sure that this partnership will be fruitful and will go a long way to making India a football giant.”
Explaining why SBC chose to tie up with Kickstart FC, van't Geloof explained: "The driving factor behind this was the Kickstart FC Foundation. It’s an initiative where young kids from the underprivileged section of the society get to play football and receive training. The Foundation shows them that if they work hard and pursue the game, there’s a way out of poverty for them. These children come from the slums and Kickstart FC Foundation provides them an environment where they can excel and discover their worth. There are many academies in India but Kickstart's Foundation initiative is the one which impressed us most because it has a social impact on the children through football."
Going forward, Kickstart FC plans to set up nine grounds in three metro cities – Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. All the grounds will be laid with artificial turf, supplied by ACT, the official partners of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. It is also looking to partner the French Football Federation (FFF) for more exchange programmes.
More than 300 children across different age groups currently train at the Kickstart FC Academy in JP Nagar. The Academy adopts a scientific approach to training. The Academy also imbibes life skills to its players by conducting regular workshops for its children. The workshops are aimed at making the child a leader, mentally stronger and confident outside the pitch as well. More importantly, the kids are shown how to strike a balance between academics and sports.
The Kickstart FC Foundation provides a platform for young talented footballers from economically-backward families showcase their skills. Kickstart Foundation also has the conviction for social integration - identifying talent from society’s under-privileged section and integrating them with the Academy children, thereby helping them take on life head on. The Kickstart FC Foundation (www.kickstartfoundation.org) supports more than 200 kids in Gautamapura, Murphy Town and Lingarajapuram.
FC SBC (https://www.vvsbc.nl/) is based in Son enBreugel, Netherlands since 1939. It’s a member of the KNVB and has about 1,200 memberships, 1,000 players (690 among them Under-18) and more than 250 volunteers. The club has six grounds, three of which are artificial grass. The club’s main objective to be an open club – welcoming all people across age, sex and background. It looks to develop football talent and effective social behaviour. The club’s other programmes are: developing talent at day-care institutions and schools, encouraging the mentally and physically disabled to take up the game, walking football for seniors citizens, integration course poor refugees and organising tournaments for youth and corporates.
A university-level athlete from a family of footballers, Shekhar comes with great passion about football. An Industrial Engineer with 20 years of management training at a global level, he’s founding director of www.atmospheretraining.com, a firm that has trained managers in some of the biggest companies in manufacturing, service, healthcare, IT, sales and NGOs. He has also trained teachers at various schools and colleges and has designed life-skills curriculum for big educational groups in India.
Bhattarai is a Chartered Accountant by profession, with an inclination for the game of football. A midfielder and captain of many teams, he rattles goalkeepers and cross-bars with his pile-driver power-shooting. His grip on football statistics are equivalent to his financial numbers.