Society for Transformation, Inclusion and Recognition through Sports (STAIRS) and Gujarat State Football Association (GSFA) have entered into an agreement to jointly develop the football culture across the state. The organizations will be conducting the STAIRS School Football League (SSFL) together in the state. The objective of the association is to create opportunities for budding players at the grassroots and complement the developing sporting culture in the state of Gujarat. The organizations plan to meet this objective by introducing SSFL across all districts of Gujarat.
“We are glad that STAIRS has brought SSFL to Gujarat as this will create enormous scouting opportunities to scout talent at grassroots. The league will fill the major gap as there has been no professionally managed platform of such a scale in the state for young footballers to showcase their talent.
“The mission of SSFL is completely in sync with the objective of GSFA which is to build football culture, create multiple opportunities for footballers and introduce sustainable and scalable programmes that can position Gujarat as a sporting state.
“We are proud to have partnered STAIRS and are looking forward to the promising outcomes of this association,” said ShriGulabChauhan, Secretary, Gujarat State Football Association.
Siddhartha Upadhyay, Founder & Secretary General of STAIRS Foundation said, “We had launched SSFL in Ahmadabad and Gandhi Nagar last year and were surprised by the overwhelming response from the footballers at the grassroots. Hence, we planned to scale up the league and take it to every possible district in the state.
“The support from the sporting fraternity from Gujarat has been appreciable and we are glad to have partnered GSFA to conduct SSFL across the state. The expertise of GSFA, its understanding of the grassroots and the knowledge of the game will play a significant role in successful implementation of the league and meet its objectives.
““Organizing SSFL in Gujarat in association with GSFA will also create several economic opportunities for the sports fraternity at the grassroots level, especially for the coaches, referees and other sports-related ancillary businesses in Gujarat.”
SSFL, which is the world’s largest talent scouting and training programme, had launched in Gujarat (Ahmadabad and Gandhi Nagar) last year and had engaged about 1,200 footballers from 64 schools. The league witnessed nearly 100 matches being played under the FIFA format. This season will see participation from almost all districts of Guajart and the size of the programme in the state is expected to grow by ten times.
The Gujarat State Football Association (GSFA) is the governing body for football in the state of Gujarat. The Association is one of the 36 Indian State Football Associations that are affiliated to the All India Football Federation (AIFF).