Press Releases

National Championships Preview!

National Championships Preview!

After the successful completion of all the City Championships, the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports is all set to host the Athletics National Championship on 23rd and 24th January.

RFYS-The Journey

RFYS-The Journey

With the first season of the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports having been a platform which reached out to over 1900 institutions

National Championship: Groups and Fixtures

National Championship: Groups and Fixtures

The groups and schedule of the much-awaited Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Football National Championship 2017 were announced earlier in the day. Matches will be played at two venues, RCP Ghansoli, and Fr. Agnel, Vashi, as the grand spectacle starts on December 28. All the eight City Champions across the four categories have been pitted into two different groups where the top two teams from each group would be qualifying for the National Championship Final. Two games will simultaneous kick-off the RFYS National Championship on December 28, 9 AM.  Senior Boys Champions, Minerva Public School, Chandigarh, take on Rosary Higher Secondary School, Goa, at RCP Ghansoli while Govt. HSS Panampilly Nagar will face Sihphir Higher Secondary School, Aizawl, at Fr. Agnel’s, Vashi. The above four teams form the Group A of the Senior Boys category. St. Anthony Higher Secondary School, Shillong, Al-Ameen Pre-University College, Bengaluru, Kapasdanga Vidyapeeth, Kolkata, and Thakur College, Mumbai, are the four power-packed teams of Group B. Group A of the Junior Boys category contains Minerva Public School, Chandigarh, Our Lady Of Rosary, Goa, Om Roy Memorial, Shillong and MSPHSS Malappuram, Kozhikode. Minerva Public School will take on Om Roy Memorial in the opening game of Group A on December 29 at 9 AM. A fiery Group B of the Junior Boys category has the likes of Don Bosco High School, Mumbai, Army Public School, Bengaluru, The Unique Model High School, Imphal and Gangadharpur Vidyamandir, Kolkata. The four schools have collectively scored a massive 171 goals. The first game of Group B will be played between Don Bosco High School and The Unique Model Academy. The opening games in the College Boys category will be played at 11 AM on December 28 where teams from Group A will kickstart proceedings. Shree M. P. Shah College, Ahmedabad will take on Zakir Hussain College, Delhi while Baselius College will kick off simultaneously against Mayai Lambi, Imphal. Opening games of Group B which contains City Champions of Goa, Kolkata, Chandigarh and Shillong will start at 3 PM on the same day.  Fr. Agnel, Goa, will square up against St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Bengaluru, and Netaji Nagar Day College, Kolkata will play the free-scoring boys from St. Anthony College, Shillong. The School Girl category matches will start on December 29 for both the groups. Umthili Secondary School, Shillong, Rosary Higher Secondary School, Goa, Kadathanad Rajas, Kozhikode and Govt. Model Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh. Umthili Secondary School will raise the curtains in this category against Kadathanad Rajas at 12:30 PM. Rosary Higher Secondary School, Goa will play Govt. Model Senior Secondary School at the same time. Stay updated about the RFYS National Championship by visiting us on rfyouthsports.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for exclusive coverage. Click here for the full list of fixtures.

National Championship Finalists!

National Championship Finalists!

With the conclusion of East Zone 1 Championship, we have all the 32 teams who will battle it out in the National Championships across the Junior Boys, Senior Boys, College Boys and School Girls categories.

Ajith’s story is going to inspire many young children – Mrs. Nita Ambani

Ajith’s story is going to inspire many young children – Mrs. Nita Ambani

Mrs. Nita Ambani, founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation Youth Sports, beamed with excitement about the new season and spoke highly about the impact the competition is making on the young athletes in India. “Reliance Foundation Youth Sports was set up to realise the dream of making India a multi-sport nation. It is a unified structure of school and college competitions and I am so delighted to say that in the first year itself we reached out to over two million Children. The goal this year is to reach out to 4 million children. In the first year, we reached out to 1,900+ institutions, and this year our aim is to reach out to 3,000+ institutions” said Mrs. Nita Ambani. She continued by saying “In the state of Kerala, we intend to cover the entire state of Kerala for Reliance Foundation Youth Sports this year. So, from one city to eight cities! This has been really phenomenal in the way schools and colleges have supported and enthusiastically participated in Reliance Foundation Youth Sports. I am really happy to be here, in Kochi, to kick off season two. There could have been no better place than Kerala to start season two of RFYS. Talking about RFYS’ impact on the eco-system of sports in the country, Mrs. Nita Ambani said, “I think more than the words, it is the person standing to next to me (Ajith) who will tell you what the impact of Reliance Foundation Youth Sports has been. Grassroots has always been the core of Reliance Foundation Youth Sports. She also lauded Ajith’s efforts last season and added that his story will inspire young athletes to take up a career in sports. “I remember Ajith Sivan; he was playing in the finals in Mumbai last year. And this year he has been selected to play for his favourite team Kerala Blasters, and that is what the eco-system of football is! Ajith’s story is going to inspire many young children to take up a career in sports and do well. I just take this opportunity to wish him and Vineeth all the very best. May we discover more and more children like Ajith and may they grow to be players like Vineeth to not only make Kerala proud but make our nation India proud. That is my dream for India,” concluded Mrs. Nita Ambani. After her address, both Mrs. Nita Ambani and C.K. Vineeth presented Ajith Sivan the official Kerala Blasters jersey to cap off a wonderful afternoon and get the season underway.

RFYS to get underway on 16th August!

RFYS to get underway on 16th August!

The second edition of the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports tournament kickstarts on 16th August in Kochi, Kerala, when home team Rajagiri Higher Secondary School take on visitors Assisi Vidyaniketan Public School at the venue of the home team. This year, the football competition has expanded to include 17 cities across India with Aizawl, Shillong, Imphal, Chandigarh, Jamshedpur, Ahmedabad, Kozhikode, Bengaluru and Hyderabad joining Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Guwahati. The competition involves four categories: Junior Boys, Senior Boys, College Boys and School Girls. RFYS has also expanded to include athletics in the various categories in accordance with its view to develop sports in India as a whole. With the aim of inculcating the values of integrity, inclusion, empowerment, inspiration, respect and excellence, RFYS will hope to reach out to more than 20,000 student athletes. One of the major success stories of the 2016 competition was Ajith Sivan, who caught the eyes of ISL bigwigs Kerala Blasters and was roped in for the 2017-18 Hero ISL season. Ajith’s story from a school athlete competing in the RFYS, to being a part of the U-23 coaching camp and finally to a team in India’s top football league is nothing short of a fairy tale. His presence at the opening ceremony along with his soon-to- be-teammate CK Vineeth will give the student athletes a big dose of inspiration and set the tone for the kind of standards they set for themselves in the tournament. RFYS is turning out to be the defining sports platform that forms India’s base for a strong foothold in the world of sports. All in all, RFYS should once again be an amazing spectacle to look forward to where the best youth talent in the country will sweat it out for top honours and recognition. The opening will be streamed live on RFYS official Facebook page and on rfyouthsports.com, as the competition kicks off at 2 pm IST to signal the start of what will be another exciting season!

Hero ISL 2017 Draft: RFYS star Ajith Sivan signed by Kerala Blasters FC

Hero ISL 2017 Draft: RFYS star Ajith Sivan signed by Kerala Blasters FC

Ajith Sivan emerged from the Hero ISL 2017 Draft a happy man after being picked by Kerala Blasters FC. Catching the eye of AIFF scouts during the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports championship finals in January 2017, Ajith went on to play at the national level for Nirmala College, Kerala and then train with the U-23 Indian camp. Understandably, Ajith is still taking in the news. “I wasn’t expecting to get selected for it,” he said. “I did not think of what team to get in, as being chosen for Hero ISL Draft was a big thing on a whole. I can’t express my feeling of happiness when my name was announced. I have no words to explain that.” Joining Kerala Blasters was the icing on the cake for the lad from Kerala. “I am extremely happy right now that I got in Kerala Blasters FC itself. Kerala Blasters were always my favourite team and I am glad that they chose me.” He is the first player to advance from the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) campus to join the Hero ISL and is deeply grateful for the opportunity. “I did not expect I would reach this far. RFYS has helped me reach here. I am on this level because of RFYS. It helps players reach a higher level in their field and help develop their interest in the same.” Of course, Ajith had other helping hands along the way and they were just as happy to hear the news! “My friends and family are very excited about this. Reaching the draft was a big achievement for my parents and me. I had my parents support in every aspect. My coaches, David Sir and Anwar Sir, helped develop my skills and practice vigorously and have made it possible for me to take part in the tournaments.” The youngster, who joins his idol C.K. Vineeth on the same squad, has this to say to other aspiring footballers. “My only aim is to work harder and give my best results. Just play with all your heart and give it all because it will definitely help you get to another level.”

RFYS stars set to be part of ISL draft

RFYS stars set to be part of ISL draft

There is a special buzz going on in the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports universe as the Hero ISL draft is almost upon us because come July 23, three players from RFYS will be given a chance to step up to the big leagues. All the players who played in the inaugural RFYS tournament made the most of the opportunity that was presented to them, and when the time to shine came, these three shone the brightest. Umesh Perambra from Mumbai, and Ajith Sivan and Akshay Joshy from Kerala will be a part of the ISL draft for season four. The three players were also a part of the group of RFYS players that were selected to attend the Under-23 AFC Championship Qualifiers camp. Umesh is a central defender who plays for Thakur College and was very impressive at the back for his team as they made it to the National Championships in the College Boys category. He is also an attacking threat going forward, chipping in with two goals, and will be keen on showcasing his talent after impressing at the U-23 level. Young Akshay Joshy is part of the famed Sacred Heart Academy in Kochi, which is managed by K. Ravindaran, who also joined Kerala Blasters FC as a part of their youth set-up. Under the tutelage of his coach, Akshay has developed into a fine midfielder who is the focal point of the team’s attack and can influence games on his own. Ajith is the other RFYS player from Kerala to sign up for the draft. The midfield dynamo from Nirmala College helped his team make it to the National Championship finals in Mumbai where they lost to Charuchandra College, Kolkata, but Ajith’s talent stood out and was enough to get him noticed. These youngsters are not the only ones who are waiting with bated breaths for the drafts, balancing academics and their love for football to make it this far. Their families and friends who backed them in the RFYS tournament have taken a lot of interest in the event, which they did not do earlier. It also poses a sweet conundrum, as explained by Akshay’s mother. “As Keralities, we are really excited on Akshay getting this opportunity in ISL draft. It’s a huge moment for us. Akshay has always dreamed of playing football – this is a proud moment for him and family to feature in the Draft. “We would love if Akshay gets picked by Kerala Blasters, but we will support any team that Akshay would get chance to play,” she concluded. Follow the progress of our young stars in the Hero ISL draft as we keep you updated on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

RFYS talent catches Stephen Constantine’s eye.

RFYS talent catches Stephen Constantine’s eye.

Umesh Perambra from Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) has been selected by National Coach Stephen Constantine for final registration from the U-23 trials camp which was conducted by All India Football Federation in Mumbai. The trials are held for the forthcoming AFC U-23 Qualifiers which are slated for July 2017. A total of 8 players made the cut from the trials camp attended by 40 players from various tournaments ranging from inter-university championships, inter-college tournaments, the Santosh Trophy, the 2nd division League, Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) as well as the overseas scouting programme. Umesh, a student of Thakur College, Mumbai, grabbed the attention of AIFF scouting team as he displayed some rock solid defensive skills helping his team maintain clean sheets as well as scoring two goals on his college’s run to the National Championship in the inaugural year of RFYS. Speaking on being selected for the final registrations, he said, “I am extremely overwhelmed at the moment- Its every players dream to don the national colours in their career. I’m very grateful to AIFF and RFYS for providing the platform to realise my dream. It’s been a wonderful experience at the trials camp playing under the watchful eyes of National Head Coach Stephen Constantine and I believe it will help me become a better professional player.” Speaking on the venture, Constantine said: “I have always been looking for players. India is a vast country and I believe there is plenty of talent lying all over which we need to discover. Hence, the scouting team employed by AIFF tapped all untapped tournaments and leagues to select players for us.” “The players were given an idea of the output which is expected from a National Team player and they went back much improved as players,” he added.

India adds largest contingent of 298 D License coaches for grassroots football

India adds largest contingent of 298 D License coaches for grassroots football

Football grassroots coaching program in India today received yet another shot in the arm with the largest ever contingent of 298 physical education teachers successfully completing AIFF’s D License certification course. The training and certification programme was conducted by Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) along with ACG Worldwide under the aegis of All India Football Federation. After the successful completion of inaugural National School & College football competition in eight cities this January, RFYS roped in ACG Worldwide to support training and education program by AIFF Instructors, for select 428 PE teachers from various educational institutes for 5 day ‘Coach the Coaches’ program. The 298 successful D License coaches now are expected to spread the grassroots football movement through their school and community outreach programs. Kushal Das, General Secretary, AIFF expressed satisfaction over the way the training module was professionally conducted in the eight cities for the PE Teachers, terming it as “the largest ever contingent of D License coaches passing the examination”. “I am just as much thrilled as any football enthusiast would be in the country, to know that India has added a large and probably the biggest ever contingent of 298 D License coaches. It was a great initiative by Reliance Foundation to first organise a National football competition for school and college and simultaneously guiding the school’s PE teachers for the grassroots coach certification program. We need more such collaborative efforts and commitment from corporates, sponsors and individuals in the future to create a vast resource of certified D License coaches, who further will engage and impart appropriate age specific grassroots football training to youths in their respective schools and community.”

Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Embarks Upon Creating Unified Sports Culture For India: Mrs Ambani

Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Embarks Upon Creating Unified Sports Culture For India: Mrs Ambani

Mrs Nita Ambani, Member, International Olympic Committee and Chairperson Reliance Foundation today kicked off one of the most ambitious multi-discipline pan India school and college sports programmes under the banner of Reliance Foundation Youth Sports. Joining Mrs. Nita Ambani on the occasion was Ranbir Kapoor, an avid sports follower, an owner of Mumbai City FC and member of the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports Advisory Board. Reliance Foundation Youth Sports is poised to professionalise school and college sports competitions with a unified approach towards creating an eco-system to encourage, support and define a career path in sports for today’s youth. Calling for a need of integrated sports support system in our education, Mrs Nita Ambani said, “Reliance Foundation Youth Sports was set up with the aim to propel India’s growth towards a multi- sports nation through robust school and college level initiatives. “Reliance Foundation will also introduce the ‘Student Athlete’ program at early student life to scout, nurture, guide and create a viable career path for young sportspeople across the country in all discipline of sports.” For first year, Reliance Foundation School Sports will witness a fierce football competition among 2000 schools and colleges institutes from eight cities fielding 2200 teams in four categories i.e. Junior Boys, Senior Boys, Senior Girls and College Boys. The competitions will have pre-qualifying rounds, followed by main draws respectively in Mumbai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kochi, Goa, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata. City winners in each category would qualify to play for the national honours. As part of Mumbai leg of launch today, HR College played against Wilson College in the Senior Girls category. Over the next three months, Mumbai and its suburbs will see over 500 institutes fielding over 600 teams will play football at various grounds. Subsequently, the qualifying rounds of the rest of cities will also commence in the coming days. Starting from next year, Reliance Foundation Youth Sports will double the participatory city numbers from 8 to 16, and progressively to 50 plus cities and far flung towns in India by the fifth year (2020). School and Colleges across country will have options to participate in multi-discipline sports such as Football, Basketball, Athletics, Badminton, Volleyball etc. at a National level through Reliance Foundation Youth Sports. Reliance Foundation Youth Sports will produce video footage of the competitions, making the scouting process for raw talent a much easier task across the country. Furthermore the archive video footage would assist in technical analyses, identifying shortcomings and improvise action for young athletes. For first year of football competitions, the Youth Sports programme is expected to create 7000 hours of video content over the next four months of action, which will be available on www.rfyouthsports.com Reliance Foundation Youth Sports has set up an elite six member Advisory Board consisting of leading sports personalities and educationalists including Nita Ambani, Sachin Tendulkar, Leander Paes, Saina Nehwal, Prof. Dipak Jain and Ranbir Kapoor.

The Reliance Foundation Youth Sports tournament gets underway this weekend

The Reliance Foundation Youth Sports tournament gets underway this weekend

The eagerly-awaited tournament launch for the Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) is almost here and is set to kick off on August 27 in Mumbai after a great response from colleges and schools across the country. Following the launch in Mumbai for all categories, Delhi and Kolkata take centre-stage on September 1 as they kick-start their opening matches. The football tournament for both schools and colleges - with the exception of the Kolkata leg which will only include the college category - will begin with a knockout format until the participants have been narrowed down to 32 teams. These teams will be divided into eights groups of four each with the top two from every group qualifying for the next round. The round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will see the remaining sides tussle it out in one-off knockout matches against one other.

Reliance Foundation Young Champs meet honourable PM Mr. Narendra Modi at RFYS launch

Reliance Foundation Young Champs meet honourable PM Mr. Narendra Modi at RFYS launch

The 40 youngsters currently part of the Reliance Foundation Young Champs programme had the privilege of meeting honourable Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi on Saturday at the launch of the Reliance Foundation Youth Sport initiative (RFYS) in New Delhi where Mrs. Nita Ambani and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mr. Vijay Goel were also present. The RF Youth Sports aims at revolutionising the face of grassroots sports in India. Its mission is to create a unified structure of school and college competitions across sports and promote participation from young athletes. Beginning with football in 2016, RFYS will offer schools, colleges and athletes across 8 cities a platform unlike anything before to showcase their skill, passion and talent for sports. The RFYS tournaments will provide top-notch facilities, conditions and a conducive environment for the student athletes to realise their potential. After assessing the talent on display, the most deserving athletes will be awarded scholarships and an opportunity to be scouted by teams. The coaches of the schools and colleges will also be afforded the best training programmes and the institutes will be given football equipment. “Sports must be a part of everyone's lives. We are a large and diverse nation. Sports can be a great means of national integration. In a country like India with so much diversity, sports can be a great source of unity amongst people. SPORTS stands for: S = Skill, P = Perseverance, O = Optimism, R = Resilience, T = Tenacity, S = Stamina. I wish you all the best and declare RF Youth Sports open. Come on India, let’s play,” said the honourable Prime Minister of India. Mrs. Nita Ambani, founder and chairperson of Reliance Foundation, added: “Reliance Foundation Youth Sports aims to revolutionize school and college sports in India and provide a platform to student athletes to build a career in the sport of their choice. I believe that sports complement academics by imbibing values of team work, discipline and leadership amongst the youth. Through the RFYS initiative, we are committed to creating a sporting culture across the country by developing talent at the grassroots level and making sports an integral part of education.”