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Saturday 23 March 2013

Creating Chances: Kolkata gets its Kickz with Goalz

The export of the Premier League's successful Kickz scheme to India is focused upon

  • The Kolkata Commissioner of Police meets participants at the George Telegraph Sports Club

  • Khaled Hossein has joined East Bengal from the scheme

Download the Creating Chances report >>

The Creating Chances 2012 report outlines the work the Premier League and the clubs do at the heart of their communities. From the report the export of the successful Kickz scheme is focused upon.

Disconnection between young people in areas of high deprivation and the authorities is not unique to the UK, which is why Kickz works well as an initiative that can be exported. Since 2011, four ‘Inspired By Kickz’ projects have been created by the Premier League and the British Council. In Brazil, Indonesia and, as Sanjay Sarkar, Senior Project Manager Society for the British Council in East India explains, Kolkata, India.

"Kolkata Police has a long history of organising sports festivals in the city but they were keen to develop a year-long activity that could engage with young people.

"Kickz has come along and been a revelation. It is a living and growing partnership: in addition to the Police, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the All India Football Federation, the Indian Football Association (West Bengal) and (initially) six I-League football clubs supported what we call ‘Kolkata Goalz’.

"Kickz has come along and been a revelation"
Sanjay Sarkar

"Coaches and coordinators were trained to manage and provide the logistics. Six neighbourhoods were identified for the pilot phase; they were the ‘hot spots’ where the socio-economic conditions were particularly bad and the young people had a history of crime and police conflict.

"They are engaged through football coaching, cultural programmes, education, health checks, football tournaments, free tickets to football matches and sports events. It’s why ‘Kolkata Goalz’ grew in 2012 from 300 young people aged 12–18 years to 600. We have now expanded into two more ‘hot spots’ and got another four I-League clubs on board.

"There are some great success stories: five participants have joined the Kolkata Police Force, another five young men have been signed up by football clubs (including one, Khaled Hossein, with I-League side East Bengal Club), and two Kolkata Goalz participants have received scholarships to three-year Bachelors degree in Sports Management at West Bengal University of Technology courtesy of the George Telegraph Group.

"Their future, like ours, is just beginning."

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Key Points

  • In the latest Creating Chances report the export of the Kickz programme is focused on
  • Sanjay Sarkar of the British Council explains how it has been a success in Kolkata
  • As in England it has helped to benefit an area where conditions and levels of crime are bad