Norwegian football icon Ole Gunnar Solskjaer interacted with young football prodigies from OSCAR Foundation and shared inspiring insights during his maiden India tour visit, hosted by Tilak Gaurang Shah, founder of Ace of Pubs, at the ITC Grand Central in Mumbai on Saturday.
The Manchester United legend spent time with a group of 12 underprivileged and promising football players, including specially-abled players and girls from the Mumbai-based Foundation, who have empowered over 15,000 children and youth in low-income communities in India through their Football, Education, and Young Leader programs.
Encouraging the kids to have fun while playing the game, Solskjaer expressed, “When you play football you should always enjoy yourself. Have fun, practice all the time, and always play with a smile on your face. If you miss a chance, if you concede a goal it doesn’t matter. It is only football.”
In addition, the 50-year-old also stressed the importance of prioritizing education alongside football. “I spent most of my time on football and school, I always did my homework before I went out to play,” he told his young fans.
The three-day tour of Solskjaer also features an auction of exclusive football memorabilia, sourced meticulously by Tilak, whose proceeds will be donated to the OSCAR Foundation, ensuring that their budding players receive the necessary support to follow their dreams.
“It was heartwarming to witness the smiles that Solskjaer brought on the faces of these young football talents. We are delighted to have been able to facilitate these meaningful interactions with OSCAR Foundation who have been making a real impact on the lives of thousands of kids through football and education. His (Solskjaer’s) advice will play a pivotal role in the kids embracing football with a strong mindset,” commented Tilak Gaurang Shah, founder of Ace of Pubs.
OSCAR Foundation, which is the event’s official community partner, is a community-based Sports for Development (S4D) organization that uses the power of football to encourage children to stay in school and equip them with skills to be resilient and future-ready.
“Everyone at Oscar Foundation is thrilled to have got the opportunity to meet the footballing great Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. His interaction with our young football talents was truly inspiring and will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on their lives. We deeply appreciate the support of Tilak and Ace of Pubs in making the dreams of our kids come true,” said Ashok Rathod, Founder and CEO of OSCAR Foundation.
The dedicated Manchester United fan will be hosting the auction for this exceptional collection including rare football boots and distinctive canvases autographed by the Norwegian, as well as signed jerseys from his esteemed former teammates.
Following the Bengaluru and Mumbai leg, football fans will get an opportunity to meet Solskjaer, at ITC Maurya, New Delhi on February 11 on the final day of the tour.
— Arunava Chaudhuri | arunfoot (@Arunfoot) February 9, 2024