CHENNAI: Steve McMahon, a former football midfielder from Liverpool, Dr Vijay Barse founder of Slum Soccer, shooter Abhinav Bindra and the British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Mike Nithavrianakis, all of them will come together for the GREAT British Sports
Festival at the Nehru Indoor Stadium on March 16 for the finals and an exhibition match.
The GREAT British Sports Festival running through March and April is part of the India-wide launch of the GREAT Britain campaign. The matches are expected to feature teams from Loyola College, SSN College of Engineering, Ashok Leyland, Cognizant Technologies and Phenomenon Sport.
Following the finals on Friday, the exhibition match will feature Steve MacMahon, Abhinav Bindra, Mike Nithavrianakis, slum Soccer players and others players from the British Deputy High Commission Chennai including manager Tony Williams, goalkeeper Nicholas Snowden and others - Kartik Kumar, Sean
Hopkins, Andy Fennell, Mark Daley and Graeme Nicholls.
During the press conference, Nithavrianakis said, “I am delighted that the GREAT British Sports Festival is coming to Chennai. Earlier this month, events in Kolkata including the one for school children who have suffered from leprosy and in Mumbai an event for children who are physically and mentally challenged were held.
The event in Chennai on March 16 is the culmination of a three-day Slum Soccer football tournament involving teams of Slum Soccer children and teams from private companies and colleges in Chennai. More events are planned in New Delhi next month.
Indian Olympian Abhinav Bindra, who was also present at the conference, said, “If we can foster generations of children who embrace sport as a way of life and learn the lessons it teaches, India will reap many rewards. The GREAT British Sports Festival is the first step of that journey.”
Adding to this, Vijay Barse said, “Slum Soccer has always aimed to use the energy of sport to empower. Based on the simple philosophy - Football for All - what started as weekend kick-about sessions, has bloomed into full-fledged coaching camps, educational and health workshops and societal development programmes.”
The GREAT conversations event in Delhi is expected to feature Andrew Flintoff and Sachin Tendulkar.