The second edition of the BOOST BFC Inter-School Soccer Shield is all set to kick-off at the Bangalore Football Stadium on January 15, the club announced on Friday. Bigger in scale compared to the last edition, the Soccer Shield will see 1000+ children from over 80 teams from schools across the city battle it out in four age categories (U-8, U-10, U-12 and U-14). In a first, the competition has also been extended to girls in the U-8, U-10 and U-12 category.
Keeping in line with the competition’s aim of developing football at a grassroots level and being a feeder to the Blues’ academy sides, standout performers from the tournament will get the opportunity to be part of a fully-funded high-performance camp at the Inspire Institute of Sport, in Bellary. The IIS also houses the Bengaluru FC Residential Academy. The winners also have an excellent chance of securing a scholarship in Bengaluru FC soccer schools and a spot on the Bengaluru FC B-Team while consistently improving their fitness and the way they play the game along the way.
Bengaluru FC, with its grassroots program, BFC Soccer Schools, and Residential Youth Academy in Bellary, has structured the ideal pathway for young footballers with potential and club COO, Mustafa Ghouse said the Soccer Shield was an important aspect in the system.
Bengaluru FC COO, Mustafa Ghouse went on to say, “We are really excited for the second edition of the BOOST BFC Inter-School Soccer Shield. The tournament has grown on all fronts from last season, and the overwhelming response it has received from schools across the city this year reaffirms how much it has grown since last year. In addition, this year will see selected children get an opportunity to train at the BFC Academy at the Inspire Institute of Sport and we’re happy to be able to provide them with an experience like none other in the country. It’s also a big step up for us that we’re able to include a girl’s category in this edition and we hope that this leads to something special.”
One of the School Shield’s biggest success stories is thirteen-year-old Gautam Rajesh of DPS East, who was scouted from the 2018 edition and is currently with the club’s U13 side. The young midfielder was even part of the Karnataka U14 squad at the 2018 Sub Junior Nationals.
Vikram Bahl, Area Marketing Lead, GSK Consumer Healthcare said, “Young children today closely connect with sports stars and look up to them for inspiration. BOOST’s partnership with BFC for the Inter School Shield, gives kids the opportunity to play, and learn, with the Pros. Ever since its inauguration, the tournament has grown in leaps and bounds, and the response it has received from schools this year is a testament to its success. The inclusion of a girl’s category is another positive step forward, furthering the incredible growth momentum of football in the country.
BOOST – ‘the official energy partner’ to Bengaluru FC, will be re-activating the partnership with its flagship property ‘Play the Pros’ where selected kids get to play and learn from their favorite sports heroes like Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Singh and Udanta Singh to name a few. With this property, BOOST intends to take its purpose of “Unleashing the winner in kids” beyond an inspiring message. The brand aims to provide the kids with the opportunity to prepare to “Play a Bigger Game” by learning from their favorite sports heroes.
Bengaluru FC, as a club, has always taken along with it the community, and the tournament will see as many as 20 teams from the community participate in a separate category.
The association will also see BOOST actively involved in the club’s active Indian Super League campaign, in terms of player marketing rights, on-ground assets, tickets, merchandise and the opportunity for children from the tournament to be a part of the matchday mascots program and be mascots along with the players in a BFC home game during the ISL.