Since its introduction in early 2013, the AIFF Grassroots Leaders Course Programme has seen over 135 courses being conducted across 18 states in India with over 3,500 Grassroots Leaders being certified, and more than 20,000 player participants being directly involved in course activities.
In an effort to increase the nationwide footprint, and to take the game to the remotest parts of the country, All India Football Federation is now on the verge of introducing its maiden Certificate Course in a regional language.
June 3, 2019, will represent a landmark day in Indian football when the AIFF Grassroots Leaders Course will be delivered in Marathi in Kolhapur, Maharashtra in association with the Western India Football Association, and Kolhapur Sports Association.
This will be the first time that that any GR Leaders course will be conducted in a regional language. Anjana Turambekar, Head of AIFF Grassroots & Instructor, a native Marathi speaker, will be the Lead Instructor in the course.
AIFF general secretary Kushal Das believes that in a country like India with as many as 22 official and many other unofficial languages, there are several challenges to be overcome.
“We had envisioned this for a long time, and after several months of working with several stakeholders in collaboration with the AIFF, I am delighted that the first-ever course in an Indian regional language is finally here,” Mr Das stated.
AIFF technical director Isac Doru believes it is more important to get the information across to the coaches in a universal manner, regardless of the language one speaks.
“I’ve been in this country for just around three weeks so far. But I’ve already charted out Grassroots development as one of my top priorities. It requires a good coaching education, and special attention on the curriculum we set for the coaches,” said Isac Doru.
“I am happy that we have now started to explain the universal principles of Grassroots in local languages, taking into consideration the traditional knowledge and experiences,” he further explained.
The AFC Coaching Convention allows Member Associations like the AIFF to offer its own coach education courses within its territory at the AFC-approved level which are delivered in their own region-specific languages.
“Once you break the language barrier, it opens up new frontiers. More coaches will come to the forefront who in turn will be able to express their thoughts, and ideas through the powerful medium of their own native tongue,” Ms. Anjana explained.
“Translating content while keeping the overall context intact is crucial. Likewise, we need Instructors who are fluent in the language, and can deliver in a manner which is easy to understand,” Ms. Anjana explained.