Kolkata: Kolkata recently witnessed the football excitement with Sunfeast’s first ever Sunfeast Kolkata School League 2018, managed by Sports Connect. Appending to the brand values, Sunfeast initiated the league with the intent to give young talent a platform, encourage sports in the region, foster new talent and build a stronger ecosystem for football in the country. Sunfeast Kolkata School League took place from 20th November to 11th December 2018 at NKDA Stadium Rajarhat, Kolkata. Sunfeast reached out to budding heroes from various schools to harness their talent and spread the love of the game in the region. Top 10 schools participated in the action packed league and competed for the prestigious trophy.
Eminent dignitaries like AIFF Vice President, Mr. Subrata Dey, MP & Former India Captain, Mr. Prasun Banerjee, Former India Captain, goalkeeping legend Bhaskar Ganguly and Former Iranian International, Jamshed Nassiri inaugurated the league to support the young talent. With mentors of international repute constantly working towards enhancing each participant’s football skills, the talented stars in Kolkata performed exceedingly well with impressive efforts from each of the teams in the league. Former Indian Captain Mr. Prasanta Banerjee, Former Indian Captain, Mr. Monoranjan Bhattacharya, Former Indian Captain, Mr. Md. Fareed, Former Indian Goalkeeper, Mr. Debashish Mukherjee and Former Bengal Goalkeeper, Mr. Sumit Mukherjee were few of the mentors in the league.
The football league witnessed a challenging set of matches between 10 prominent English medium schools with stellar performances and extraordinary efforts by the young stars. The teams were divided into two groups constituting of five teams each, two teams from each group qualified the semifinals & the winners of both the semifinals clashed in the finals. The schools participating in the league were St James School, Lamarteniere for Boys, Don Bosco Park Circus, The Heritage School, Calcutta Boys School, St Thomas Day School Free School Street, St Thomas Boys School Khidderpore, St Francis Xavier School Salt Lake, Albany Hall Public School and St Joseph & Mary School, Alipore.
After vigorous matches spread over 23 days, teams St James School and Lamarteniere qualified for the finals. St James School won the coveted Sunfeast Football League 2018 finals. It was an exciting moment for all football fanatics at the football ground as the final whistle was blown and the winning teams hit their final goal.
Commenting on the league, Mr Paritosh Wali, Chief Operating Officer, Biscuits & Confections Cluster, Foods Division, ITC Limited said “We are delighted to announce the winners of Sunfeast Kolkata School League 2018. Encouraged by the tremendous support and consistent popularity of the football tournaments, we have expanded our activities beyond Sunfeast Cup in North East where more than 500 teams participate. We at ITC are proud to create a football ecosystem in an attempt to nurture budding players, who can surely make India proud in the future.”
Chief Guest at the event, Mayor In Council (Kolkata Municipal Corporation) Mr. Debashish Kumar said “Football has always been one of the most popular sport in the country and a platform like Sunfeast Kolkata School Football League has taken extensive steps to promote the sport from the grass root level. We are glad to see many talented football players in Kolkata who can be enabled to become professional players. I really appreciate the efforts taken by Sunfeast biscuits from ITC foods and the organizers to identify upcoming talent in the city.”
Encouraged by the positive response received by the crowd in the region and unmatched performances of the young stars in the league, many luminaries like Mayor In Council (Kolkata Municipal Corporation) Mr. Debashish Kumar Padma Shri Olympian, Mr. P K Banerjee, Olympian, Mr. Nikhil Nandy and Poongam Kannan came forward to cheer the young footballers during the finals.
The winning teams received a total cash prize of Rs 50,000/- & Runners Up got Rs 25000/- in the league. This will inspire the passionate young players to pursue the sport even after the league is over. This initiative has been widely appreciated by the sports authorities, mentors and parents of children participating in the league.