CHENNAI: Great Goals is back with their annual tournament which will be held this Sunday at YMCA Nandanam. The 3rd edition of this tournament is meant only for academies and non-school teams. There are 360 children divided into 36 teams across the age categories of U-10,U-12 and U-14.
Great Goals was started by Sandhya Rajan and Priya Gopalen in 2013 as a means to provide an opportunity for kids who couldn’t perform in their school teams. “We started with 40 children within the eight to ten years age category and have expanded to around 360 children within four to sixteen years age category, ”says Priya. “We want every child to be given an equal opportunity to hone their skills to the best of their ability.”
They had vision but no extensive knowledge about the nuances of the game. But as an academy they gained credibility over time with the help of their coaches. “We took every opportunity to attend U-14 and U-15 tournaments available in the city and gave exposure to our players,” says Priya.
They usually rent out school grounds for older players and smaller fields like Kickoff for the youngsters. A blue and yellow uniform is provided which the kids use for regular days as well as tournaments and in addition to the coaches, they have staff well trained in basic first aid. “The kids just have to show up with shoes, commitment and a bottle of water,” says Priya.
“All the training classes are co-ed but we noticed that after the age of eight, the girls showed reluctance in playing with the boys. According to their wishes, we set up a girls only basket ball training and a separate co-ed basketball programme,” says Sandhya.
The Great Goals is a term-based paid programme and charges are based on the venue also. Smaller fields invite a higher charge due to the limited number of allowed players. A twelve-week term costs between `6,000-7,000.
Three years ago, Great Goals started conducting tournaments. Students were divided under U-10, U-12 and U-14 categories to provide a fair chance against the opposing teams. The head coach Bhaskar of Turnpro who organised the tournament refrained from training this year, to give a fair opportunity to others. Instead, Hermant and Solomon, active league players are in charge of the actual training. “We have a rigorous age verification tag based system which only allows tagged players on the field,”says Priya.
MVP for the best performance of an individual Golden Boot award for most goals scored Best Goal Keeper for stellar performance in front of the goal.
Fair Play award— to recognize and promote ethics and sportsmanship in young players Best Player on the Team Player of the Match
The tournament is scheduled to be held on Sep 3 at YMCA, Nandanam, from 8 am to 6 pm.
For details, call : 8939932088