Mumbai, 11th May 2017: Tata Trusts U Dream Football today announced its ‘Technical’ partnership with Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. The partnership with Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany’s most successful clubs, serial winners in both Germany and Europe will, enhance the quality of the Tata Trusts U Dream Football training programme.
In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the partnership will give the young footballers enrolled in the programme an opportunity to be trained by the Bundesliga side’s Youth Coaches, as also draw from the club’s world class training facilities.
Known widely for their youth development system, Borussia Dortmund has on its roster, top German stars like the current club captain Marcel Schmelzer, his deputy Marco Reus; world-cup winner Mario Gotze; and Christian Pulisic, one of the club’s young stars.
The teams under Tata Trusts U Dream Football program will train with Borussia Dortmund’s youth teams. The aim is to plan competitive games against each other, which will play a key role in the development of the children.
While the young aspirants are training to become top class footballers, they will also get their first taste of professional European football by watching Borussia Dortmund play live from the ‘Yellow Wall’, the largest free-standing grandstand in Europe with a capacity of 25,000. Known for its exhilarating atmosphere, watching a live Bundesliga game from the ‘Yellow Wall’ will certainly be an inspiring experience for the young footballers.
In 2016, Tata Trusts and U Dream Football partnered to use football as a tool for social development in India. The efforts took root in the North East, the region that contributes nearly 50% footballers to both the men and women’s national teams. 35 of North East India’s best young players were selected and began their training programme in January 2017. Now known as the Tata Trusts U Dream Football, the training programme is based in Bitburg, Germany, where the selected talents spend 10 months of the year training under a team of ranked coaches. Each week, the U15 and U17 sides play competitive games against top-ranked youth sides in the region as well as those in Belgium and Luxembourg. This year, both teams combined have played 20 games, winning 15 and losing only 3 games.
“Tata Trusts has a legacy of supporting various sports events and activities since its existence in 1892.” said R Venkatramanan, Managing Trustee Tata Trusts, “Sports has the potential of developing traits such as leadership, learning, sharing, and caring and of course the will to win.Sport is indeed a wonderful unified force to drive social programmes and change. Tata Trusts is privileged to collaborate with U Dream Football and Borsussia Dortmund in this developmental endeavor. Initiative such as these make us proud and encourage us to contribute every day.”
Speaking at the event Ronnie Screwvala, Founder of U Sports said, “Today we reiterate our strong association with Borsussia Dortmund at the grassroot level but also about an overall commitment made by Tata Trusts and U Dream Football for basic football development in the country. We found an incredible partner in Tata Trusts which always thinks scale. U Dream appreciates their quick and unrelenting support to our aim of grooming children in football. Our two focus areas are to position sport as a great career option and make India one of the top 20 football-playing countries in the world.”
Christian Diercks, Lead-Youth Programmes, Dortmund BVB, said, “While the children are motivated to take up football, they are also extensively trained in the German schooling system, which gives them a chance to enhance their education and fulfill a realistic dream. There are also plans of bringing in Indian coaches to Dortmund, which is an intense football capital of the world and give them a chance to meet specialists in their field and exchange ideas on football training. I am happy to have this wonderful opportunity of supporting this endeavor in bringing about a long-term development of young kids.”
In addition to football training, the programme also offers academics and languages, laying focus on the holistic development of each child. Enrolled in Germany’s premier international school, they will pursue their academics under an international school board.
With 48 players currently enrolled in the programme, partnering with Borussia Dortmund will aid development of all those under the programme, as the club will provide constant support and directional guidance. Bundesliga clubs typically incubate between 200-300 players in their development programmes and thus it offers these players an opportunity to join Bundesliga sides as well. The goal of the programme is to ensure that
all enrolled players play professional football, by placing them in clubs across Europe, North America and Asia, including India. As the players’ development progresses, Tata Trusts U Dream Football will provide footballers with opportunities for a trial with leading clubs across Europe.