Inaugural RFYS U-19 football tourney for girls kicks off in Srinagar

Srinagar, June 24 (IANS) The inaugural Kashmir leg of the U-19 girls’ football tournament organised by the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) kicked off in Srinagar on Monday.

The inaugural event is being held at the Green Valley Educational Institute in the city where eight teams will compete in 15 games over the next six days.

The tournament in Kashmir is set to open an exciting new chapter for girls’ football in one of India’s most picturesque regions, providing a vital platform for young female footballers to develop their skills and pursue their footballing dreams.

Afshan Ashiq, the goalkeeper of J&K’s women’s football team, said, “RFYS is targeting to revolutionise the footballing structure in Kashmir with a special focus on the U-19 girls’ teams. These young athletes often don’t get enough game time, and they need a tournament like RFYS to grow the sport and increase participation among girls.

“By streamlining the key facets of the game such as playing time, youth coach development, and providing grants, RFYS aims to create comprehensive development opportunities for the sport. We hope to capitalise on these dreams to build a formidable footballing future for young girls.”

The hopes and aspirations of the budding female footballers of the Valley were matched both by the players and the parents who enthusiastically look forward to their daughters shining in sports and academics under the peaceful environment that the locals are experiencing after more than three decades.

This RFYS initiative aims to provide crucial game time and development opportunities that are often limited for the female athletes of the region.

Since its launch in 2016, RFYS has impacted nearly nine million students across India.

The addition of the Kashmir leg is a pivotal part of the programme’s ongoing success, aiming to harness the region’s deep-seated passion for football, and provide talented players with opportunities to excel and potentially join India’s professional football leagues.

–IANS

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