Driven by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi´s vision of making football the sport of choice in India, Mission XI Million, the biggest school sport outreach programme was launched here today by the Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel in the presence of President of AIFF Shri Praful Patel. A first of its kind, the programme will encourage children to play the beautiful game of football, gain healthy habits and learn important life lessons in teamwork and sportsman spirit. The approach is to work with school principals and sports teachers and encourage and incentivize them to make children play football games on regular basis. Speaking on the occasion Shri Vijay Goel said, over the past year, his Ministry has made many bold strides towards developing a sporting culture in the country. He said, Projects like Khelo India are helping towards developing sport at the ground level while our TOPS scheme and Olympic Task forces look to help our elite athletes bring glory to India in the international arena. And with the FIFA U-17 World Cup being held in India in October this year, we are building our infrastructure and showcasing our ability to organize and execute global sporting events. The minister said, but it is not just the stadiums and grounds that need to be built. In his ‘Mann Ki Baat address on March 27th, our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi described the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 as a great opportunity for youth that can start a revolution in sports throughout our country. In his words, this whole year there should be an atmosphere of football in the schools and colleges and around our country. The Mission XI Million programme that we are launching today was inspired by this vision.
Referring to Mission XI Million, Shri Vijay Goel said, it is a massive school engagement programme for football. Designed with international sporting expertise, but keeping in mind the ground realities of our huge and varied country, it aims to instill the passion for football in 11 million children from every part of the country. He said, the key idea of Mission Xi Million is that every child should have the opportunity to play the world’s most popular sport. To make that happen, schools and parents must be equally involved in children’s physical well being. Shri Goel said Mission XI Million equips parents and schools with the equipment and the knowledge about how to make regular play a reality for their wards. The Minister said, the program will be rolled out in every state of the country, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari from Kutch to Imphal. The initial activity has already started, and he is extremely encouraged by the response government is getting from the schools and children. The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has spoken encouragingly about MXIM. In a message to the nation on an earlier occasion, he remarked, “Mission XI Million will take the beautiful game of football to at least 11 million boys and girls around the country. Children in every state, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Kutch to Arunachal Pradesh will get a chance to learn, play and enjoy football.” Vying to reach out to over 37 cities and 12,000 schools across all 29 states of India, the initiative will focus on games that can be adapted to different field sizes and conditions, with special emphasis in small sided games (4 vs. 4 and 5 vs. 5). It is divided into three phases: seminars for teacher and educators, in-school activities and football festivals, which will run up to September 2017.