A historic FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™ legacy initiative, the Coach Education Scholarship Programme, has concluded in Ladakh where 23 aspiring coaches – all females – undertook an E-License grassroots course to become officially certified football coaches.

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This, the sixteenth edition of the programme and a first of its kind in Ladakh, was conducted between 20th and 23rd September 2022, training its participants in both, the theoretical and the practical aspects of the game while also equipping the participating women with leadership qualities.

Mr. Tashi Gyalson Khachu, Chairman of the Ladakh Football Association, who was present for the inauguration of the programme along with the state FA’s General Secretary Ms. Tsering Angmo, said, “We are thrilled to host the first-ever coaching education programme in this region with an all-female cast of participants. The joy has been furthered given the association with India’s first-ever FIFA women’s competition, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™.

“There is immense potential in these areas, and this is a landmark step in unlocking the same. Football has been known to have a transcending impact on human lives and we believe this is the start of a new dawn in Ladakh. The landscape of women’s football is changing, and our women will play a part in that change.”

The participants of the programme carried out their practical sessions with children from Lamdon Model Senior Secondary School and some of the graduates will coach kids from this school in a bid to promote the beautiful game.

“It is extremely heartening to see women from Kargil and Leh participate in the Coach Education Scholarship Programme. The idea behind this initiative was always to help develop women’s football, increase participation and accouter women with leadership qualities. Thus, leaving a footprint that is encompassing hitherto uncharted territories is very pleasing. We hope that football grows in the region and like the sport is wont to doing, changes lives for the better,” said Nandini Arora and Ankush Arora, Project Directors of the Local Organising Committee for the tournament, in a joint statement.

The graduates of the various editions of this programme – nearly 400 in number – are subsequently serving as role models and inspirational figures, encouraging more girls in their local communities to start playing football. Some participants, from remote districts, are pioneering female participation in the game, thus changing the culture and lives of young girls.

This legacy initiative of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2022™ has also aided in the rehabilitation of certain participants who have found an alternate career opportunity through the beautiful game.

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