Nike’s endeavour

In a cricket crazy nation, it is never easy for other sports to drive a cricket kind of frenzy. Football in India had its highs and now the country is making every effort to regain the lost ground. The sport is still the preserve of so me pockets in the country, where the competition evokes similar kind of emotions as cricket does. But then the hurdles and constraints faced by the footballers are far more. The reason being, lack of support.

It is in this setting that Nike came forward to make a beginning, to help in grooming deserving talent into international material. Thus began its recent project to get to the grass roots level. In Maharashtra, Nike has tied up with the Maharashtra School Sports Association and will help in developing cricket and football. It is working with the under-15 football teams at the national level and is sponsoring a tournament where the winning team will participate in the international tournament. The lucky team will play in the Manchester United Premier Cup, a prestigious tournament in England.

Recently, Nike ran a contest to pick the best Indian footballer in the 15-17 years age group. Video clippings on the young talents were scrutinised before the actual test was gone through in front of India’s well known footballer Bhaichung Bhutia. The winner was 16- year-old Evans Thomas (above) from Kochi. Evans will now be a part of the elite Asia Eleven to be trained in Barcelona. Nike has planned more such initiatives in its endeavour to develop football and groom talent.