Tata Football Academy (TFA) and the Tata Trusts today announced their collaboration with La Liga giants, Atlético de Madrid (ATM), to enhance and strengthen its existing programmes for promoting Indian football. The main objective of the collaboration is to encourage football as a sport at the youth and grassroots level as well as support the Indian National Football Team. As part of the collaboration, the Tata Football Academy will be renamed as ‘Tata Atlético Football Academia.’
ATM will provide a full-time head coach to TFA who will work on the structure and curriculum that is followed in the Atlético de Madrid Academia in Spain. Technical experts will also visit TFA to guide and exchange knowledge on the best practices in various areas. Some of these include physiotherapy, strength and conditioning, nutrition, video analysis, player recruitment (scouting), periodic assessments and facility management.
Mr R Pavithra Kumar, Director, Program Design, Tata Trusts said, “The partnership with Atletico de Madrid will enrich grass-root players with best-in-class professional training in all aspects of football. It will help young players train to international standards, scale them up to become future international players and help establish India on the global map of the sport.”
Mr Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel said, “TFA has been a nursery for Indian football for last 3 decades and has produced some of best Indian footballers. Our partnership with Atlético de Madrid will certainly enhance the academy’s capability to international standards. We intend to be the benchmark for best practices in training, administration and infrastructure for football in the country.”
Mr Miguel Ángel Gil, owner, Atlético de Madrid said, “For our club is an honour to join Tata Group as a strategic partner in this ambitious Football Development project. Both of us share the vision to build a sustainable future for Indian football. We will work together in an educational programme based in Atlético de Madrid values and focused in giving opportunities for the kids. Tata like Atlético has more than 100 years history in building tomorrow and for us it’s the perfect partner with a long term vision like us.”
The collaboration with Tata Trusts will also witness a residential programme in Madrid, Spain, for budding Indian talented players in the age group of 12-14 years. This will be a long-term training programme, where these players will be coached in the Academia along with the other local Spanish cadets. The programme will begin with a time-period of 3 years which could be further extended to 6-8 years. Twenty candidates will go to Spain in batches in three years. All boarding facilities along with formal education in the top schools where the medium of instruction is English will also be provided to the players in the Atlético de Madrid Academy.
A scouting team from ATM, ably supported by coaches from Tata Trusts and TFA, has already selected 10 boys from various parts of the country for the programme. The boys were selected from among thousands of other players.
Tata Trusts engages in youth development programmes and runs 80 grassroots football centres in Manipur and Mizoram. Tata Trusts also runs a residential Centre of Excellence (CoE) at Aizawl, Mizoram, where 28 football players aged between 12-15 are provided training. It also supports Meghalaya Football Association in running baby league in Shillong.