German Soccer Team visits Chennai Higher Secondary School (CHSS), MGR Nagar
13th of January, 2015

A team of 17 seasoned players and 3 coaches from SRS- a leading Football Club in Germany visited the Chennai (Corporation) Higher Secondary School, MGR Nagar.

The team comprising some ace players from Germany and coaches with Grade 3 certification awarded by UEFA (United European Football Association) & FIFA (Federation of International Football Association) were in the city recently on an invitation from Live Sports Academy, a Chennai-based institution committed to promoting soccer amongst school children.

After a quick and formal welcome address by the representative of ‘Vatsalyam’ an NGO which has been offering soccer coaching to a select group of 45 students from Chennai (Corporation) Schools in MGR Nagar & Kanniappa Nagar, the visitors hit the state-of-the art soccer field in the MGR Nagar School.

The participants were divided into 5 batches, each led by two visiting veterans. Each batch in-charge was entrusted with the task of expounding on one particular aspect of the game with live demonstrations and exercises before despatching the trainees to the next batch for the demo of another technique.

The children, despite their limited proficiency in English, mingled freely with the visitors. Language was no barrier as both the trainees and trainers shared a common language called football. However, when children's comprehension was found to flounder a bit, translation by R.Amulraj, chief coach (and the PT instructor at the Kanniyappa Nagar School) came in handy.

Felix, a UEFA coach originally from Kenya expressed appreciation for the Corporation of Chennai for creating a world-class football ground with Astroturf and floodlights in the school campus which was comparable to the best grounds he had seen anywhere in the world.

"It is a great honour to be interacting with these kids. It is truly a memorable event" said Alex Zoeller a veteran of many soccer tournaments and also a UEFA certified coach.

The event, organised as part of the 3-day weekly training sessions conducted by ‘Vatsalyam’ under its project 'Odi Vilayaadu' , which aims at involving children in sports so that they are kept away from negative influences.

While the game actually teaches them the importance of discipline, tolerance, team work, concentration and fitness, the 15 minute session post-practice where we inculcate values seems to have had a salutary impact. We encourage children to talk and express themselves freely. Periodically we bring guest speakers from among achievers and social activists to share with them the details of their struggle before their triumph. Success stories from periodicals and newspapers are also shared with the group to boost its confidence.

The words of Oduma, the 18-year old 2nd Division League player of Sudanese origin sums it up the best- "Actually teaching is a kind of learning for we learned a great deal from the kids. Knowledge shared is knowledge doubled"

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