In a first-of-kind initiative in Indian football, Gokulam Kerala FC have started online webinar football training for children during lockdown. This is the first time an I-League club is giving online training sessions to children during lockdown.

The programme that started on April 15 in association with Impulse, a sports start-up from Thiruvananthapuram, has already received good response from football-loving children across the state.

Other than GKFC coaches, Gokulam have roped in the services of Michael Matricciani (Head coach of Adelaide City FC), James Mcaloon (AFC A-License Coach, England), Dr George Lopez (Trainer, Real Madrid Foundations, Spain), Simone Quinteri (Uefa B License, Italy) for the course.

“Usually this is vacation time for children. But they have minimal sports related activities due to the lockdown. So we thought about giving online training classes for children,” said Bino George, the technical director of GKFC.

“It is a huge challenge for us. Football has to be learnt on field but the current circumstances do not allow it. We have formulated our football course considering the challenges of enabling sports training through live streaming. The foreign coaches are also very educated and have given several tips to improve the course,” he said.

GKFC and foreign coaches take one hour class for the children for six days a week. There is special stress for nutrition and fitness in the course. “We have made the course material to help the children develop into professional players. So we have included all aspects of the sport, such as nutrition, fitness, rehab, and other important aspects,” he added.

The course was inaugurated by U Sharafali, former Indian International. GKFC head coach Fernando Santiago Varela and fitness trainer Djair Garcia have also interacted with the students on various topics.