Football in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh got a major fillip as La Liga and its global partners BKT Tyres and Puma extended their support to the Anantapur Rural Football League.
The joint initiative, started in 2018 by the La Liga Foundation, the La Liga women’s football department, and the Vicent Ferrer Foundation, provides over 3,000 boys and girls between ages 11 and 19 in Anantapur the opportunity to play football and receive education.
Coming together to donate face masks to the students and staff who are a part of the League, the move is reflective of La Liga’s commitment to promoting grassroots development of football in India, a statement from the organisers said on Tuesday.
“The top-flight Spanish league has been working with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation with the aim of developing football in the most deprived communities of Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India,” the organisers said.
“The initiative was carried out keeping in mind the health and safety requirements due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of resources in such disadvantaged regions,” they said.
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For the record, the captain of La Liga club, Real Betis women, Irene Guerrero visited Andhra Pradesh in 2018 to run an interactive workshop for three days for the young players and coaches, marking the first time an international woman footballer visited Anantapur.
Through the programme, which is developed by the Anantapur Sports Academy, knowledge, training, and methodologies are exchanged for the coaches and players. Despite the pandemic, they have been constantly coordinating efforts to promote the sport in a big way and they have also collaborated in the continuity of a non-residential academy for 35 girls.
“We have been working with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation for the Anantapur project for over three years now. The enthusiasm with which the students and coaches have responded and their outstanding progress is very inspiring,” Jose Antonio Cachaza, Managing Director – India, La Liga, said.
“Likewise, training actions were jointly developed both in person and virtually, training referees, trainers, and young players and the La Liga’s Women’s Football Department and the La Liga Foundation collaborated with a donation of EUR 20,000 to contribute to the development of the urgent actions carried out by the Vicente Ferrer Foundation in April,” Cachaza said.