ASOP Gold Participants Workshop, 26 to 29 Dec 2011

four-day ASOP (Australian Sports Outreach Program) Gold Participants training workshop was organized at Tikkling Camp, Gurgaon. 25 participants from Magic Bus, NAZ Foundation, and Rashtriya Life Saving Society attended. The objective of the workshop was to train these Gold participants and to acquaint them with the Award Philosophy.

Day one was dedicated to the orientation of the Gold Award participants, acclimatization with the beautiful surrounding of the Tikkling camp, ice-breaking session and the camp craft. A session on the use of First Aid at the time of crisis by Ujjwal of RLSS was the big highlight for the day. Participants also pitched their tents themselves and were taught camp craft. Bivujit Mukhoty the Programme Manager of IAYP and a team from ICNL helped set up the camp.

On the 27th of December the Award Journey and Award Philosophy sessions conducted by Ms Raina Krishnatrey and Ms Pratibha K Singh. The morning session began by brain storming session and asking participants about the Award programme. With the help of various activities, stories, chart activities, fun games all the sessions were conducted. All four sections of the award Programme: Skills, Service, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey were explained thoroughly by providing appropriate examples and giving relevant details. Participants showed their inquisitiveness by asking questions at the end of each session. Participant gave their feedback regarding the language use, as some of them were not very comfortable with the English language. The trainers kept the feedback in mind and tried to use English and Hindi in proper proportion so as to make every participant comfortable and Award Journey understandable. Participants showed their enthusiasm not only in listening to the trainers but also in the tasks assigned to them. Some of the participants made very creative record entries which impressed the Trainers.

The sessions of day two would have been impossible without the support of Volunteers from Ansal Institute of Technology: Nivedita Parashar, Sonal Muskeen, Avi and Aviral who came all the way to enjoy and learn more about the Award Programme conducted by NAA (IAYP).
On the third day the participants with the trainers and volunteers were taken to the Aravalli Hills for the river crossing activity. This was again a great fun and enriching experience for all.

The main aim of the ASOP Project is to use sport for development and provide  sustainable livelihoods to Community Sport Volunteers (CSVs). The Award Programme Foundation and their Skills partner B-able are developing a curriculum to help the CSVs learn skills for life and provide vocational training. To develop the programme Sumiran & Sugandh of B-able conducted a half-day workshop, to showcase the Skills opportunity and work out ways to offer skills training to the Gold Award participants.

The Workshop was first of  it’s kind and helps build the delivery of the Award Programme in partner organisations, and help adult volunteers understand the needs of young people.

- report contributed by Bivujit, Pratibha and Raina.

The Award concept

A simple presentation

The IAYP India Team has prepared a simple presentation to explain the Award concept,
please click on the link above.



A thank you note from an Award Leader- Mr. Ajith Jacob from Good Shepherd International School, Ooty writes in

This note is to thank the NAA Delhi office for the exceptional workshop conducted at Dehradun from Dec 16 – 18, 2011. It was a well-organized programme (in the spread of the varied interactive sessions at The Doon School and the adventure part – river-rafting and camping - at HRR, Shivpuri) and highly beneficial (especially with regard to the nature of the International Award programme in India fully subscribing to the international standards set by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Association (IAA) all over the world and also with regard to the correct governance of the IAYP programme in India). Thank you for making it happen partnering with the Award Leaders in India.

The workshop was an opportunity for Award Leaders all across the culturally rich and different states of India to come together in one location to give added impetus to the qualitative conduct of the International Award programme in India. I am sure that all of us at the workshop shared the same excitement and enthusiasm as would diverse Gold Award aspirants/ participants during a residential project. The days spent at Dehradun and Shivpuri encouraged a brilliant spirit of comradeship and adventure, fostered a strong zest for life, permeated positivity, and reaffirmed the belief in oneself to make a good difference in the lives of others through the ever important volunteer service rendered by the Award Leaders.

I am especially happy to note that IAYP in India has opened its services as prescribed by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Association (IAA) to constructively engage all youth of India not only
in schools but also in colleges, institutions of higher education, in corporate organizations, in NGO’s, in all places where youth can be found. Hence the role of Award Leaders is crucial to correctly harness, channel and hone this remarkable force in the country thereby nurturing future generations who will surely value life. It is without doubt that the IAYP programme in India is of great significance in shaping the quality of future Indian citizenry. We felt great to experience young Gold awardees conduct sessions at the Workshop and also to be in the midst of Gold Award aspirants with their residential project activities underway during this time at Dehradun.

Thank you once again NAA for bringing Award Leaders in the country together. I made friends of the attendees at the workshop and also of all who organized and conducted the workshop. We value the young people who shared their experiences with us – Devanjali, Rajarshi, Surabhi, Archit, Manya, Chitvan, Somya and Sahiba. (Excuse me if I left out any names.) Thank you to the trainers – Mr. Skand Bali, Ms. Parul Vij, Mr. Manu Mahotra, Ms. Pratibha Singh.

Special thanks to Mr. Sandeep Duttt (National Director) for his great and inspiring vision for IAYP in the India, to the stalwart Bivujit (Programme Manager) for his reassuring presence, infectious confidence and meticulous guidance, to the ever-positive and efficient Nivedita (Communications Manager) for her lively and very helpful presence and also to the gentleman holding the fort at NAA Office in Delhi- Mr. Chittaranjan.

Dr. P C Thomas (Principal) and Mrs. Elsamma Thomas (Sr. Vice Principal) convey their personal warm wishes and regards to the NAA team led by Mr. Sandeep Dutt.  We immensely value your association with our school.

Thank you once again.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2012!

- Mr. Ajith P. Jacob, Director of Activities, Good Shepherd International School-Ooty

Special Projects Workshop (SPW) 2011 report by Kalyani Chakraborty, Special Projects Award Leader from Manav Vikas School

The special projects workshop held on November 2011 was held in Dehradun and I had the privilege to be a part of it. It was an exhilarating experience altogether. The three day workshop convened on the 26th and ended on the 28th of November. I would take this opportunity to thank IAYP India for having invited me to the workshop.

Those who did attend the workshop had the opportunity to enrich themselves with the practical work and discussions of the four sections of the IAYP as well as that of the residential projects. Discussions were also held on how one should lead a quality life and appreciate its beauty. That one should love mankind as God resides within every man.

Another agenda of the workshop was to discuss how to develop the children belonging to the marginal section of the society. These children should be provided with opportunities so that they can cultivate themselves into respectable and complete individuals.

We resided at the guest house of Purukal Youth Development Society(PYDS) and the hospitality they extended to us was memorable. Purukal has its own school whose discipline and environment is perfect for a special project. They are doing a great job and contributing effectively in the formation of human capital.

Above all our national director Mr. Sandeep Dutt constantly motivates us with his inspirational words. He constantly says,” Dream it and build it.” These words are pertinent to every individual and can be applied in every walk of life.

This workshop will always occupy a special place in my heart.  Thank you IAYP, India.

Gold completion in Welham Girls' School the largest in India: a peek into their Residential Project with HESCO

Welham Girls' School (WGS), among the Top 5 best schools for Girls in India, makes headlines for the committed, talented, energetic and driven young women that graduate every year. WGS has a very robust, extensive and rigorous Award Programme and 20 Gold Level completions have happened in the last three years, making it the largest number of Gold Award completions in one Award Operating Unit in India. 

Gold Award participants engage in exciting and innovative activities that range from learning traditional India dance forms from Gurus such as Birju Maharaj, to learning digital media, exploring different art forms, foreign language, sport including leading in basketball, athletics, badminton, karate, etc, to making their presence felt in the communities in Dehradun with their Service. 

The 'sulabh shauchalay’ project, with partnership with Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organisation or  HESCO ( at Donkwala village is a recent Residential Project completed by the Gold Awardees at Welham this year. The HESCO-Welham partnership, operational since over five years has transformed lives of villagers in the Uttarkhand region and of the young Gold Award participants. 

The school students and teachers undertook construction work from 21 September at the village. While Welham Girls provided the financial input for raw material and the labour to complete the project, HESCO empowered the girls with their technical input. Toilets are built with bathrooms- an essential hygiene empowerment tool. Identified beneficaries say that through this initiative by HESCO and WGS, Welhamites learn about the need for and the importance of sanitation in villages, and the local people are encouraged to work for better living conditions. 

The 5 day project was attended by Kunwar Singh Rana and Jaipal Singh Chauhan from HESCO, WGS teachers Sonia Bawa, Sapna Sharma, Sudhir Kailthola, Vishal Rawat and 20 Gold Award participants from WGS.  At the concluding ceremony, the founder of HESCO, Dr Anil Joshi, praised the work done by the students. He pointed out that the poor faced a range of difficulties in obtaining a better life, which is why it was important to work in the rural environment. One needed to use one’s resources for the good of others.

It is important to note that Alumni and Award Holders from WGS have been active in Volunteering and Exploring Opportunities with The International Award Programme in India. Since the set up of the National Office in Delhi, Gold Holders and Welhamites have spearheaded the Open Awards Centre campaign, provided invaluable support in Digital and Print media for the Communications team and in operations and monitoring of the Award Programme in India. 

- Excerpts from The Garhwal Post (26/09/2011) and from National Office Archives and NAA team feedback

"Sharing a smile"- straight from the heart by Manvi Jalan

''Manvi talks about the time she spend with the children at the orphanage.Here's her message,straight from her heart''

IAYP - International Awards For Young People and was formerly known as DEAS-Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Participants of this program are youth people between 14-25 years of age. These participants are required to take up a Skill, a Physical activity a social service and participate in Adventurous Journeys for a certain amount of time depending on the level of the Award that one is aiming to receive.

IAYP believes that it is important for the next generation to give back to society and most of the time it does help change a person in some small way.

Personally ,I believe that it is important if possible to help people and spread happiness…try and bring hope to someone’s life. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to do something for this
world…give back …play my part in bringing about an ocean of change. For IAYP I decided to go to an orphanage called SICW(Society for Indian Childrens Welfare) for social service.

On our first day as I walked in, not knowing what to expect,I saw little children looking at me with awe. When they were told that I had come to play with them,most of them ignored us or shied away and continued to play by themselves. After the initial awkward fifteen minutes or so,I managed to make some friends,and became particularly close to some of the children.

I met a girl there.Her name is Neha.She has a little sister called  Lakhi. Neha and Lakhi were probably the first children who ever opened up to me. After going to SICW,I realized that when it comes to children,you really have to open your heart and keep smiling.It is different with adults. I found that making friends with children is much easier.

Like I was saying Neha was older,she understood everything that was going on and protected her little sister from the world.She is a smart girl,Neha.Carefree and beautiful.

A few months past by happily with the children.but then I couldn’t go for a few weeks due to exams.Neha was hurt.On meeting her I felt as if I had betrayed her. After I explained the situation to her and assured her that I cared much for her, she finally forgave me. For the first time in my entire life,I realised that someone looked upto me.I was the older sister,for the first time I understood exactly what the words ‘you’ll always be a baby to me’ and ‘don’t ever grow up’ mean.

Months later I heard that Neha and Lakhi were being adopted and were leaving next week.I was heartbroken. I wanted to give them something that they could cherish lifelong.So I wrote them a little
letter.A note that carried a little piece of who I was in it and gave them means to contact us when they
were older if they wished to do so. In just a few weeks we had grown so close.I took my camera to the orphanage to capture the last few moments that we could be together.Just before Neha and Lakhi left,there was a great sense of sadness.Neha,always cheerful, eagerly took the camera from my hand and started taking snaps,she created for me some beautiful memories that I will cherish forever.

I met some of the parents of the children and when I finally went home after spending at least 4 hours at the orphanage… and waited for the growing sadness in my heart to manifest into tears,but they didn’t.

The time that I spend in the orphanage made me humble.It made me appreciate everything I have.I taught me to admire the strength and beauty of these children,of these little souls who never seem to stop smiling. If I have meant anything to these children,if I have given any hope to them and given them any happiness and love,if I have changed their lives in some small way I shall consider myself blessed.But they will never know just how much they have changed mine. Now every time I think I’m going to lose hope, and the strength to go on in life,I will think of these souls.They have taught me just how precious and beautiful life is and how I’m stronger than I think I am. They give me hope and taught me how to believe in the love in the world…They made me want to inspire more people and to follow my heart.

This programme provided me with the opportunity to gain experiences of a lifetime and has truly brought a change in me as a person.Now I know there is nothing that will stop me from fulfilling my longing to be a part of the ocean of change that is yet to come.

- Manvi Jalan, Award Participant 

Take the Lead-Israel Youth Conference 2011: Meet the India delegation and hear the experiences


Organised by the Youth and Society Administration at the Ministry of Education of the State of Israel,  as part of the 2011 UNESCO International Year of Youth, The International Youth Conference with the theme "Take the Lead" was held from 20th to 23rd November 2011 in the Hotel Leonardo Inn, Jerusalem, Israel. 

The theme of the conference was based on Janusz Korczak's quote: "Children are not the people oftomorrow, but people today. They are entitled to be taken seriously. They have a right to be treated by adults with tenderness and respect, as equals. They should be allowed to grow into whoever they were meant to be - The unknown person inside each of them is the hope for the future."

The focus of the conference was on promoting youth leadership and volunteer activities; establishing of the platform for dialogue between youth as the potential future leaders and preparing them to act as good will ambassadors of their countries, providing a meeting point for youth from culturally diverse communities, living in harmony and peaceful coexistence.

There was representatives from 13 countries round the world- India, Thailand, Singapore, Russia, The Netherlands, USA, UK, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Italy, Kazakhstan and Israel. The Israelis who formed bulk of the representatives were mostly 17-18 years old and the participants from the rest of the countries were slightly older than them-most being around 19. 

Lectures and more:
was declared open by the education minister of Israel. Anwesha Gosh 
gave a speech introducing the Award Programme in India and discussed the Indian leadership aspect. 

Anwesha is convinced that doing The Award helped her speak at the Opening Night. She says that she was '
a little apprehensive' before her speech as she did not have a speech ready. But at the back of her mind, she knew that she would do well. 'I had so much to share, so much to speak about from all the experiences through the Award- my difficulties, successes, failures and how the Award gave me an opportunity and confidence to carry on despite the failures.' 

The delegates attended panel discussions and lectures by Mr.Yacov and Dr.Yassi Harel. 
These lectures proved that each idea and its implementation could be beneficial for the society.

On the second day, all the participants were divided into 4 groups. India was in the first group with Germany, Thailand and Israel. Everyone participated in a round table discussion to understand policies and issues concerning youth leadership. Through discussion they found out the kind of leadership activities that everyone was a part of and also tried to understand what more we could do to make the world a better place. 

The first lecture was on leadership as a basic skill and quality, and the problems faced by young leaders who are trying to bring a positive change in the society. Conducted by Dr. Yassi Harel- 
the head of the study team conducting research of child and adolescent behaviour.He shared his experience with us and explained the methods of study.He also throw light on the risk factors  concerning the youth.It was interesting to know why and how behaviour of the youth of today is changing.He told us what we could possibly do to give others a better life.

The second lecture was on an initiative taken by 
Mr.Yacov- the founder of the first Democratic school in Hadera (read more about them,
 to encourage learning and creativity in the society through his “Democratic schools”.

Says Anshuman, "Through the discussions I learnt a great deal about the diverse culture and more importantly the different views and approaches of people to the common social problems. The conference also made me realize the similarities between the youth around the world. Most of the delegates took up projects and worked in synchronization with the government. Most of the youth involved had taken up leadership responsibilities through the youth councils formed in their respective countries. I also felt that any such initiative lacked in our country and was only possible at school level because of India’s large size and other social problems." 

On the third day, our groups were further divided into sub-groups to formulate  the declaration for the conference at the end all the points were taken in for the general statement. T
he declaration defined the goals of the conference and what the delegates pledge to do
. Everyone contributed their ideas and shared their opinion of the declaration. The final copy of the declaration was ready after a lot of debate. However much we fought over the points of the declaration-everyones concern for the world and the society was clear. It become obvious that every participant of the conference wanted to do their bit for the betterment of the world.

Onkar says that the cultural night was a fun experience in which all the delegates showcased different traditional dance performances and spoke about their country and showed video clips. 'Team India did 'bhangra' (a dance from Punjab), spoke about our country and showed a short video clip of incredible India. It was great to witness all the performances and 'bhangra' was enjoyed by everyone and every body joined in!'

Team India's impressions about Jerusalem and Israel:

Known as 'The Holy Sanctuary', Jerusalem is the centre for three major Abrahamic religions- Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Although Jerusalem is known primarily for its religious significance, the city is also home to many artistic and cultural venues. The houses here are made up of similar kind of brown rock-which gives the city a calm and uniform look. The beauty of the country is mesmerizing. The city is connected by broad roads and trams. What was surprising was the tram which is also called the ''train'' in Jerusalem is free of cost.There was no police supervision anywhere on the roads but still the traffic ran perfectly-something very impressive.

Onkar enthusiastically shares that "Israel, Jerusalem was quite different from what we see in our daily lives on the newspaper or on the news. The youth body is very very active in israel, each district is represented by a student leader and the chairperson of the israel youth association represents them in the parliament."

Adds Anwesha, "While touring the land of Jerusalem and Israel, we saw the rich culture and history of the land. Jerusalem was destroyed three times and all the three times that it was rebuilt, it opened it doors to new cultures and practices. We visited the Knesset - the Israeli parliament, the Museum which is called Yad Vashem , the City of David, the Western Wall- I realized how close the people were to their history.Their knowledge of the past was astonishing. What was more astonishing was the amount of effort they had put in to preserve their past. All documents from the Second world war, from during the rule of King David and every other piece of history that was available was there for public viewing and explanation." 

Experiences unplugged: 

Award India team enjoyed meeting so many young people from diverse cultures,different religions, representing their countries. They realised that in spite of the differences, all delegates shared same concerns about youth policies, youth leadership and more.

Says Anwesha, "Although we were different, we realised we were the same. We had similar concerns. We could all connect to each other on similar issues or points. We all agreed that is it easier solving problems through discussions than by violence. Just hearing each other out helped us sort out issues. The International Youth Conference was an amazing platform to share my experience and opinions with the rest of the world.I learned a lot in the process and made friends from different countries. I could like to take this opportunity to thank the Award for providing me with such an unique opportunity."

The delegates agree that participating in conferences as The International Youth Conference in Israel, young people get a chance to share their experiences and opinions with the rest of the world in addition to making friends. 

Anshuman agrees, "we came back with a lot of learnings and
 ideas to think about. It was an opportunity for us to learn about the levels people from other countries were working for the betterment of the society. It has allowed me to think about some of the global issues and critically evaluate the work been done in such areas."

Onkar agrees and adds on that, "we realised the importance of good leadership and learnt how to be better and effictive leaders instead of only being active leaders. We also learnt how to respect the ideas of every individual even if it is different from ours." He added passionately that The Award Programme is the best platform for young people to lead in what they believe in.

We still wait to hear from Rashmi who has just returned to her office. 


Anshuman Bhargava- Gold Holder 2011
A student of The Doon School, Dehradun, Anshuman is passionate about basketball and art. He is a member of the Trophy Squad in his school as part of his Service. 

Anshuman believes that participating in social projects has allowed him to see the true problems in India. 

He wanted to attend the Israel Youth Conference to become a leader, make new friends and contribute to The Award in India. Ass an Ambassador at the Israel Conference, Anshuman looked forward to presenting his views as a potential youth leader, represent the country’s spirit and interact with culturally diverse youth. 

Anwesha Ghosh- Gold Holder 2011
A first year College student and a resident of Kolkata, Anwesha enjoys oil-painting and sketching, her Skill for the Award. She is also a Football player and knows Karate. A dedicated Volunteer in  awareness about the importance of literacy, she  is also a mentor and supervisor for young people. 

Anwesha believes that the Award Programme has helped her understand the needs of others. 

She strongly feels that being as an Award India ambassador, she will get to know how different communities work better and work towards a common goal.

Onkar Singh- Gold Award participant
A student of the Assam Valley School-Tezpur, Onkar is skilled in Electronics media and is also regularly involved in Horse Riding. Apart from his hobby and physical exercises, he also loves the mountains and trekking up to Sandakphu, the highest point in Bengal, has been one of his memorable Adventurous Journeys. 

Working with and helping the residents of the Moran Blind School is a passion of his which is a part of his Residential Project.

Onkar believes that the sharing of ideas during the Conference in Israel is really crucial for him because with the new ideas and experience, he would be able to deliver better services and results in his school as well as to the Award Programme itself.

Rashmi Rajamanickam- Gold Holder 2010
Rashmi currently works in Chennai. A skilled dancer in Latin American Dance style,  a  State Level Yoga Contest winner, a Table Tennis player and also a Track & Field enthusiast in  Shot-put and Discuss Throwing, Rashmi wears many hats really well. 

She is active in Community Service that include helping run an Orphanage and organizing regular Blood-donation Camps. She also loves exploring Caves! As part of her Residential Project, Rashmi conducted a survey on the single mothers in a few villages.

As an Award Ambassador to Israel, Rashmi wants the world to get a right perspective of India, and meet young people from all over the world at an international platform.

Need to obtain Operators License before 31st Dec 2011

Award units/ schools need a License to operate

The Award Programme Foundation (APF), a Registered Charitable Trust, with the Charity Commissioner in Mumbai, is licensed to run The International Award for Young People (IAYP) in India by The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award International Association (IAA) based in London.
The APF empowers the National Award Authority (NAA) as the only licensing body in India, with the national office is at New Delhi. All Schools, Colleges, Award Units and Operators in India must have a valid License to operate The International Award Programme. Please check your records and ensure that you have a renewed/ current License to operate The Award Programme. The NAA Office is committed to assisting you and ensuring that young people in India get the best possible support while they participate in The Award Programme. The website explains the structure of the organization in India.

License and Operation of The Award Programme


We recommend you get a copy/ renew your Operators License with the NAA office. This will help you with training and development support and your Unit will be able to participate in events, exchanges and other activities of IAYP all over the world. 

Kindly send us a copy of your existing / expired / valid License, to enable us to revalidate / renew the same positively before the 31st day of December 2011.

The NAA mandates that all Award Units and Licensed Operators use the Common Award Participation Form only. Each form has a unique number and is tracked by us. The Forms are supplied free and are to be filled and submitted to NAA India office for the Database Registry, as per the IAA License needs. No one will now produce, print or distribute Award supplies, the National Office will be the exclusive licensed supplier. 
The Common Participation forms must be submitted with a Fee of Rs 500.00. The Schools, who do not wish to get a License, must connect with the National Office alone and send all completed forms to the National Office please.
Status of Schools registered with the erstwhile Zones:
1. Every School has to have a Valid License; if the School has one from the Zones, they must provide us with a copy for record with details of registration date, expiration date, etc. to enable us to send the new Operator's License.
2. The NAA alone issues the Operator Licenses, if you do not wish to renew your old Operator License or get the new YES License, your Participants can still do the Award Programme, all you need to do is submit the Forms at the nearest YES Centre or to the National Office. 

What is the YES Centre License?
The new NAA Operators’ License enables the Licensed Award Units to not only operate the IAYP in their own schools, but also in the community and the society the schools exist in. This updated license is now referred to as the YES Centre license, and is issued to a Society, Trust or registered body keen to operate the Award Programme in their area of operations. The YES Centres partner with the NAA office and help to deliver The Award Programme to participants and schools without a License.

For more information about YES Centres and how the Award partner institutions operate the Award Programme, please visit

The Award Programme is available to young people in the ages 14 to 25, the YES Centre License is mandatory for the Operating Award Authority / School/ Unit to Register. The Award Programme Foundation charges an Annual License Fee of Rs. 10,000.00 per annum. The Corporate License for pan India use, and for operators who have a footprint at multiple locations is Rs. 35,000.00 per annum. All the YES Centres are supported by the NAA with training and development. 
For help and information, please call  Bivujit Mukhoty +9192122 33900
The Website has all the information and the operation guidelines please.

We ensure the interest of Award participant is paramount and we will help you serve them better. The NAA Office is well stocked with all Award Programme materials and you are welcome to visit us any working day of the week.

Award Partner-FootballFirst India's First International Football Festival a huge success!

FootballFirst Sports, in collaboration with the Bolton Wanderers Football club of England, organized a football festival, the first of its kind in India. The FootballFirst International Festival took place from 14th-20th November at Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.

Over a thousand children from more than 100 schools, over a hundred coaches, and 20 school football teams, from across the NCR participated in the week-long festival in which coaches from Bolton Wanderers Football Club ISS, England, conducted various coaching, skill building, and scouting activities.

The festival started with a seminar, "The Football Link" initiative that focused on Indian football coaches. Over 35 coaches from Delhi attended and interacted with the coaches from Bolton Wanderers. The aim of this initiative was to grow football awareness in India, as well as to connect football enthusiasts across the country and overseas to maximize the existing football potential in India.

In addition to the seminar, the festival hosted morning and evening coaching sessions every day of the week. During the morning sessions the Bolton coaches shared valuable Premier League coaching experience with school football teams and their coaches. The team coaching sessions included Game Strategies, Team Management, and Team Attacking and Defending Principles. During the evening sessions that followed, the Bolton coaches conducted individual skills sessions to help the participating children develop and improve their technical, tactical, physical and psychological football skills.

During the course of the festival, the top football talent across Delhi took skill evaluation tests. The Bolton coaches evaluated each player’s football skills based on international scouting techniques, and provided assessment and feedback on ways to build upon strengths and shortcomings. From this select group, 9 senior players and 7 junior players were invited by the English coaches to take part in the Grand Skills Test in England.

The Bolton coaches also spent a day scouting players from the Finals of the F3 (FootballFirst Futsal) tournament, the largest cage football tournament in India, with over a hundred teams competing over the course of 4 weeks to reach the finals.

The festival ended with a fiesta in which more than 150 children participated in various fun football drills in a carnival-like atmosphere. 30 children from the Salaam Balaak NGO also attended and had an opportunity to interact with the Bolton coaches and take part in the festivities. 

The Festival was a mega success and the feedback and response from the participating children, parents, coaches and schools was really good. The festival lived up to its spirit of creating a fun and interactive environment in which football coaches, parents and budding football players were able to experience an international perspective on football.

Good Schools of India Journal @ www.GSI.IN

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