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The FIFA World Cup 2014 may be on in Brazil, but millions of soccer fans around the world feel the high energy and are a integral part of one of the most religiously followed and loved sporting events. As the excitement reaches fever pitch, this season is also the right time to encourage the little kickers in your home to take up football seriously, or at least play it regularly to stay physically active.
If you would like to book your child for a soccer course but don’t know where, then we have done the homework for you. Here is a list of five football academies in the city, where budding football enthusiasts can learn techniques and also have fun.
Happy Feet was born out of the sheer enthusiasm for football shared by three friends, Vidur Mehmi, Atish Ganguly and Ryan Godinho, all of whom aimed to promote one of the most ‘neglected’ sports in the country and provide better infrastructural facilities to young talent. Currently, Happy Feet trains more than 250 students between the age group 5-17 years across various locations in the city. Happy Feet also conducts annual summer coaching camps followed by a tournament under its Youth Football League programme. The academy runs its curriculum based on four modules: game briefing, physical training, technical training and audio – visual. The founders are known to handpick the game equipment themselves to provide the best experience and ensure utmost safety to students.
Regular batches: Quarterly retail programmes are conducted twice a week at Mt. Carmel School Lullanagar, Shivaji Nagar Police Grounds and Hotfut Arenas Mundhwa.
Upcoming camp: Monsoon Madness Sunday League starting from 28th June at Caelum High School Undri, Mount Carmel School Lullanagar and Bounce Academy Law College Road.
Founded by Pavit Singh and Nikhil DuBois, Hotfut has been gaining immense popularity among the city football lovers for its state- of-the- art arenas, coaching, merchandise and events. The academy has UEFA, FA and AFC licensed coaches to offer grassroots level training and regular playing facilities to children between 3.5 – 16 years. Based on internationally recognized curriculum, the coaching involves comprehensive and continuous performance, monitoring and evaluation of its students. The academy also conducts international educational tours and camps for promising players.
Regular batches: Round the year coaching is conducted at two locations – Mundhwa and Kumar Pacific Mall. The quarterly fee is Rs6000/-. A registration fee of Rs1000/- inclusive of a football kit is applicable too.
Within four years of its launch, Mathew Football Academy has already garnered an esteemed reputation from soccer lovers in the city. Mathew Susainathan, the founder and coach of the academy has several accolades to his credit and brings his rich experience to train the young generation in the categories U-8, U-10, U-12, U-14 and U-16. The academy believes in taking a methodical approach to the programme and entails strength and explosive power conditioning, endurance, speed, agility, stamina building and discipline. Summer batches are conducted from March to June.
Regular batches: Every Saturday and Sunday, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Loyala High School Ground near Pune University. The course fee is Rs1000/- per month and Rs1500/- registration charges inclusive of football kit.
Pune Football Club (PFC) is Pune’s first professional football club and has I-League match wins to its credit. PFC is known to give a superb platform to youngsters and bring them in the limelight through its extensive training programmes, experienced coaches and world class infrastructure. Apart from offering a two year residential programme exclusively for U-17 and U-19 categories, PFC also runs year round coaching sessions for U-10 and U-13 squads.
Regular batches: Every Saturday (4:30 pm to 6:30 pm) and Sunday (8:00 am to 10:00 am) at Mamurdi Training Ground. The fee is Rs1500/- per month, which includes pick up and drop bus services on Shivajinagar and Khadki route. A onetime registration fee of Rs2200/- inclusive of football kit is applicable too.
SportyBeans runs a multi-sport programme for preschoolers across several locations in India with an aim to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle among children at an early age. It teaches children the basics of nine different ball sports such as Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball, Golf, Tennis, Cricket, Rugby and Hockey. Apart from its flagship programme, SportyBeans also organizes sports based holiday camps regularly. Sporty Beans programmes are split into three age groups to help them play with peers of their age and maximise their development potential – Junior Beans (2.5-4 years), Mighty Beans (4-6 years) and Mega Beans (6-8 years).
Regular batches: New batches are introduced every term at three centres – Poona Club, Camp and Anandban Club.