HAL plans academy to nurture talent in various sports

The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is all set to start a sports academy in the city, aiming to identify and nurture young talent in various sports.

As the first step, HAL will begin a coaching programme in football at the HAL Sports Complex, Vimanapura, and has invited applications from boys in Bengaluru, aged 14 to 15 years.

Expected to begin in the end of June or early July, the programme is expected to breathe fresh life into the unit’s football team which was disbanded at the end of the last season.
"HAL has a rich legacy in football. We were in the I-League circuit till 2005. Today, things do not stand favourable for us but we intend to restart our journey from the grassroots," said VM Chamola, HR Director, HAL.

"The programme is now at the primary level and we are approaching this in a step by step manner. It will be a holistic approach, where we will stress on managing the discipline and other off the field developments of the players with help of personality development sessions," he added.  

 A total of 30 boys from schools across Bengaluru will be shortlisted based on their skills and other criteria such as knowledge about the game and discipline. The players will receive free sports kits, scholarships and dietary measures from the academy.

"The turf here at the complex is similar to the one at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, as far as the quality and facilities are concerned. The academy, in the beginning will be non-residential, with in-house trainers appointed for coaching. Once we begin to receive good response, the academy will be made residential and experienced coaches will be recruited," said Gopal Sutar, Chief of Media Communications, HAL.

"Once the technique of the players are fine-tuned and after preparing them for professional matches, we will form our own team and participate in club-level football," Gopal added.

"The efforts are on to bring up a professional and hard-working unit, which can achieve big in the future. We wish to make HAL the best football team of the country in the next five years," said Chamola.

According to HAL sources, a few foreign football clubs had approached the organisation for professional tie-ups. The idea was rejected by HAL, reasoning it is too early for such developments.

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