The All India Football Federation (AIFF) Baby League Project is a nationwide player development platform designed to engage thousands of children across the country to engage in competitive football in their formative years. Earlier this year, FC Mangalore, in partnership with the AIFF, was selected to setup the program across Mangalore city and the pilot program for the competition was launched in The Yenepoya School.
At present, over fifty kids from Class I to V have enrolled for the program with the activities being held every morning from 8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. in the school playground and supervised by the FC Mangalore Coaches. The children are currently divided into three batches based on their age-groups and train twice over the course of the school week.
FC Mangalore Technical Director, Biby Thomas, spoke about the vision behind the grassroots initiative, "We are looking to engage children into sports at a young age. Sports teaches children about teamwork, discipline and problem solving while also enhancing their motor skills and coordination. Its a fun learning environment and with our current structure that is in place in FC Mangalore, there is a clear pathway for talented players to also represent the School / District / State and National Teams if they have the potential."
FC Mangalore is also currently one of the premier representatives from Karnataka State featuring in the AIFF Youth National Leagues in the Under-13 and Under-18 Categories.