The world’s biggest talent scouting and training programme, Uflex Stairs School Football League (SSFL) arrives in Uttar Pradesh. After the resounding success in the states of Delhi and Gujarat, SSFL makes a new beginning today in the ancient holy city of Varanasi in partnership with the Uttar Pradesh Football Sangh.
Today with the launch in UP, in its fourth year the Uflex SSFL will only grow into a bigger movement with stronger participation and engagement of youth and children. With scouting and honing of talent by better training, a league of world class footballers will emerge and do India proud in the global football arenas.
Last year under the aegis of Uflex SSFL-3 held in Gujarat and Delhi, more than 35,000 children from 2000 schools competed 4000 matches. The tournament was organised in the FIFA format.
We in STAIRS believe that such initiatives help create opportunities for schools children to pursue their passion in a field of sport. It’s also essential for a holistic development of the children by engagement and participation. In the process, they get a platform to showcase their talent.
The objective of SSFL-Uttar Pradesh is to identify, support and nurture football talent in the most populous state of India. We have been getting continuous support from the Uflex Ltd.-India’s largest flexible packaging company as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative. We will initially operate in two regions—Gorakhpur and Varanasi which will consist of eights districts of Chandauli, Ghazipur, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Deoria, Kushinagar and Gorkahpur.
In the Phase-1, 160 teams of under-17 age group from these two regions will compete. In the Phase -2, the winner teams will compete representing their respective districts.
Founder and Secretary General, STAIRS, Shri Siddhartha Upadhyay, is upbeat. “We feel inspired and excited to launch the Uflex SSFL in Varanasi. There cannot be a better place to do that. Varanasi is an ancient city and repository of Indian culture, traditions, music and philosophy. It also happens to be the constituency of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi who feels ‘Sports can be a great means of national integration’. We are pleased to work with Uttar Pradesh Football Sangh to encourage sports amongst youth and children. In the first phase some 20,000 children will get the opportunity to showcase their football talent.”
“I am thankful to Uflex Group for its continued support to the initiative,” Shri Upadhyay added.
The Hon. General Secretary of Uttar Pradesh Football Sangh, Shri Mohd. Shamsuddin said, “We are glad to be associated with SSFL as this will provide valuable opportunities to youth and children at the grassroots level. I’m sure this association will result in promising outcomes and encourage sports in the state.”
Shri Gulab Chauhan who wears many caps is the Secretary Gujarat State Football Association; Chairman of Referee Board (AIFF); Head- SSFL National council is of the view that “the commitment of STAIRS towards encouragement of football at grassroots is unparalleled. Sports is good for mind and body, also for the general well-being of the community at large.”
The SSFL has become one of the most important sporting event and ‘talent spotting’ platform in the country. Various sports clubs and other agencies involved in the administration of sports, officials and national selectors keep an eyes on prodigies during the SSFL tournament. The selectors of international clubs too keep a tab by way of ‘live streaming’ of important matches. They also request for videos of the matches to have a closer look at the performance of some promising players.