The Ministry of Education, in partnership with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and FIFA, has launched the Football for Schools (F4S) initiative, providing 6,848 footballs to 1,260 schools in Odisha.
The initiative was launched by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Cuttack on December 2, 2023, to enhance students' access to football of all genders, a ministry statement said according to PTI.
The program aims to cultivate excitement for the sport and establish a strong sports culture that extends beyond individual schools by building partnerships at various levels, the report said.
By February 9, 2024, 6,848 footballs have been dispersed to schools in 17 districts of Odisha. The initiative forms part of a larger plan to distribute over 11 lakh FIFA footballs to 1.50 lakh schools nationwide progressively, PTI added.
The program was initiated to expand access to soccer for students of all genders in school, seamlessly incorporating soccer activities into the education system, the report added.
This joint endeavor highlights the government's dedication to encouraging sports at the local level, cultivating a fitter and more engaged young population nationwide.