Kolkata, Oct 12 (PTI) England, who have secured a knockout berth with a game to spare, today cancelled their official FIFA U-17 World Cup training, and instead got down to community work.
The high-flying ‘Young Lions’ headed to the Newtown School to share their knowledge with children from various backgrounds.
“It was about doing some community work as it’s really important that the players give something back,” England chief coach Steve Cooper said.
“We’ve come here and it’s important we show a little bit of respect and it’s important that we learn a bit about the part of the world that we’ve come to.”
The England players discussed both the game and their lives and backgrounds with the children and also spoke about their training methods.
They gave invaluable tips to the budding Kolkata junior players on all aspects of the game.
“We’ve absolutely loved being in Kolkata, the support and the people around the training ground and the hotel,” Cooper added.
With wins over Chile and Mexico, England have secured a passage to the pre-quarterfinals and face Iraq on October 14 in a match that will determine the group F toppers.
Apart from the boys and girls of the Newtown School, children came from two UK-supported projects which utilised football and sports to empower young people, especially those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities.
Many of the children came from the Kolkata Goalz programme — a Premier Skills project which helped build positive relationships between young people in deprived areas and the local authorities through sport.
The project was led by the British Council and the Kolkata Police with inputs from the Premier League in the UK.
Children also came from the British Council’s ‘DOSTI Sports for Peace’ Programme which used community sport and a series of social development modules to engage young people living in disadvantaged communities and deliver positive and effective changes in their behaviour and lifestyle.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.