Shillong Lajong FC believes that football makes a difference in people’s lives.
We believe that every top footballer was once a grassroots football player. His talent was identified by the coaches, and his skill was developed by the club. Therefore, grassroots is the foundation of football as it gives all children the opportunity to play.
Lajong will kick off the Grassroots Football program in various parts of Meghalaya namely; Malki, Mawlai, Smit, Sohra, Umpling, Lumsopoh, Pohskeh and Jaiaw from the 5th of December, 2015 under the directive of Head of Youth Development Coach, Gumpe Rime; Assistant Coach Alison Kharsyntiew; and the operations team of Shillong Lajong FC. The Club will help develop and nurture the skills of aspiring footballers.
The Club will try to reach out to as many localities in and around Shillong and slowly spread across the state and the region as well.
The philosophy of the Grassroots Football program is that football is for everyone regardless of age, gender, religion, and ethnic or social background.
The Shillong Lajong FC management team will explore and visit majority of the localities in Shillong, and provide an opportunity to children between the age group of 8-12 years. In the process, the coaches present will provide training that will help children gain focus, positivity, control, co-operation, optimism, and social integration.
Grassroots Football program benefits not only the young, but helps the society and the game as well. It will also assist children from the state to gain more interest in the sport from a very young age. We believe that Grassroots Football will inculcate camaraderie, will help build self-esteem, and create an environment where the youngsters learn new skills while having fun.
Involvement in Grassroots Football is a very rewarding experience. Although improving the technique of young players is challenging, however, contributing to a youngster’s personal development is a fundamental goal. We, at Lajong, are committed to help children develop a lifelong sporting habit. This includes ensuring that all children are provided with a wholesome sporting facility, which will only improve the overall experience.
Shillong Lajong FC, through our Grassroots Football program, want to provide every child with an opportunity to learn and develop skills through organized football activities, matches, and coaching. It also promotes the spirit of fair play, education, and overall development.
Head of Youth Development Gumpe Rime explained the importance of conducting such grassroots program. He said, “It is imperative to lay a strong base in order to unearth and develop future generation of local talent and identify the next Aibor, Eugene, Marlangki, Rocus, Niwan-o and many more.”
“The aim is to make more children play football with the same grassroot philosophy of football for all involving fun activity, to reach out to as many localities in and around Shillong and spread across the state gradually and finally to create a database of young talented players and bring the best talent to our academy and develop them into future stars.”
“The slipping FIFA ranking of our country is a grave concern, everyone is complaining why India cannot produce world class players but we never give attention to youth football. It is same as constructing a building- the stronger the foundation, stronger the building. In other footballing countries kids start playing as early as 5 years and by the the time they are 15-16 years, they are ready to play at good level whereas we start very late. Hence, the result is there for all to see. Having said that not everyone will become top class player but the grassroot program will help children to develop physically,learn discipline and teamwork through playing football”, he said.
For more information, Children who are interested to be part of the Grassroots Program can contact their Local headman or Sports Club.