Techtro FC celebrated AFC (Asian Federation Confederation) Grassroots day by hosting a special webinar. Distinguished people from the football community graced the webinar on Youtube. The event was lively with the participation of several football enthusiasts of various age groups and their parents. There were more than 600 viewers across all the digital platforms, making the event a success. 

The guest speakers Dr. Narendra Ganwar, Kundan Chandra, and Vipin Thapa. Dr. Narendra Ganwar holds AFC A License Coach and is also an AIFF License instructor and Assistant Professor in SAI LNPCE. Kundan Chandra is the Head of Grassroot and Youth Development from Jamshedpur FC. Vipin Thapa is the Head coach of Techtro FC.

The guests were involved in a Question and Answer session with the members from Techtro FC. ‘Narendra Gehlot while discussing grassroots development said- “I miss being on the football pitch today. Earlier, the term ‘Grassroots’ is generally associated with football enthusiasts who are kids. But nowadays, it relates to the base of any development and participation that doesn’t necessarily include kids alone but also growth in various football fields like coaching, futsal, Women’s football, etc.”

He further added on the ideal coach-to-student ratio, “The stars of Indian Football like Sunil Chettri, Bhaichung Bhutia came into prominence through the Subroto cup, an interschool tournament. If the school is not serious about football, the potential future stars can never be noticed. Ideally, at senior level football, a coach is sufficient to manage around 30 players, but as the level comes down the hierarchical ladder, the coach to student ratio should increase. It becomes challenging to handle the young and energetic kids on the pitch. So one coach per fifteen kids is ideal. But sadly, there is only one coach per 10,000 enthusiasts in real life. The coaches should meet the kids’ needs and train them hard using unconventional methods to understand the kids’ mentality.”

‘The coaches should take a step and approach the child’s parents to convince them to make their child pursue football.  We also invite the parents to the football matches to watch their childs’ games and cheer for them. The coaches’ responsibility is to make the parents involve in football activities and make them understand the pathway’ concluded Narendra. 

‘The football coaches lack the knowledge of treating the different age groups differently. They fail to understand the characteristics of kids of various age groups. Jamshedpur FC has one of the best infrastructures for football. As a grassroots instructor, I have to create awareness among the coaches on treating the kids properly. We have appointed around 250 coaches for the grassroots program. By nature, the three-year-olds’ concentration span is small and needs to be understood by the coaches,’ stated Kundan.

‘Even though there are sufficient coaches in Lucknow, many of them fail to adapt to the grassroots style of coaching. We need to achieve the expected growth in football by conducting seminars, conferences, etc., and help increase participation. Techtro FC has been doing a good job regarding this. Other clubs in Lucknow should take inspiration from Techtro FC,’ said Vipin.

The guest speakers have interacted with the audience at the end of the session. They answered the questions on various topics like football career, parents’ role and guided the enthusiasts to pursue football. The panel was quite happy with the audience, especially with the participation of young kids. They thanked Techtro FC for hosting the webinar.

The AFC defines grassroots football as ‘all football which is non-professional and non-elite.’ It includes football for children, youths, amateurs, veterans, those with learning or physical disabilities, and the socially disadvantaged.