The sixth season (2023/24) of RFYS is set to kick off on September 11, 2023, with matches being held in Hyderabad and Champai (Mizoram). Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) football tournament is one of India’s leading grassroots football competitions, organized by the CSR arm of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), the Reliance Foundation.
Here are some key highlights and themes for the upcoming season. (Recap: RFYS 2022-23 Season)
RFYS is committed to expanding grassroots sports across India, providing opportunities for young talents to develop their skills and careers. The five-month-long tournament will be held across 18 centers spanning over 30+ districts, including Ahmedabad, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Goa, North Kerala, South Kerala, Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Tamil Nadu, Jamshedpur, Haryana, Assam, Punjab, Bhubaneswar, Bengaluru, and Kolhapur.
- Increased Female Participation: RFYS is focusing on enhancing the participation of girls in the tournament. In the 2023/24 season, they will introduce the U-15 age group category in addition to the U-19 category for girls
- Up-skilling of coaching officials – RFYS plans to upskill over 1,000 coaches and match officials, including 300 women.
· Age Categories: U-15 & U-19 for girls; U-15, U-17, U-19, U-21 for boys.
· 24,000+ athletes from 1650+ teams are expected to participate this season.
· More than 2900 matches to be played in the upcoming RFYS season.
Commented Mr. Thangboi Singto, Head Coach, Hyderabad FC expressed, “A big shout out to RFYS as they gear up for an exciting sixth season. I believe this is one of the most extensive and inclusively well-organized football events for school and college players all over the country. Many players have benefited from developing not just their sporting performances but also their overall personalities. My best wishes to all the players, coaches, and organisers involved in yet another spectacular sporting extravaganza. May it help not only to build athletes but also great citizens. All the best.”
Speaking on the launch of the season, the Reliance Foundation Spokesperson said, “The Reliance Foundation Youth Sports football tournament was envisioned as a platform to grow the Indian football ecosystem by increasing the talent pool in the country and fostering the holistic development of the sport.
Over the years, we have continued to expand the program and today it stands as one of the leading grassroots football development tournaments in the country. We remain committed to growing the football landscape in the country with a 360-degree and inclusive focus on players, coaches, and referee’s development.”
Talking about the upcoming season, Defender Melroy Assisi, Punjab FC said, “Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) is a good stage for Indian footballers to showcase their talent. I played two seasons of RFYS and thereon I was scouted for the Chennaiyin FC reserve. Furthermore, I have played for many professional clubs in India and finally I am here at Punjab FC gearing up for our first ISL season. Reliance Foundation has helped me get the exposure and I am grateful for it to be a part of my journey.”
About- RFYS was launched in 2016 with the goal of revolutionizing grassroots sports in India by creating a structured competition platform for schools and colleges. Over the years, it has provided a valuable platform for young athletes to showcase their talents. The likes of Melroy Assisi, Hira Mondal, Makan Winkle Chote, Gurnaj Singh Grewal, Sivasakthi Narayanan, Shilky Devi Hemam and Mariyammal Balamurugan have all participated in the tournament before going on to sign professional club contracts with ISL and I-League teams, with some representing India at the international stage too.
The tournament has garnered support from various stakeholders, including coaches, players, education institutions, football clubs and state federations, all of whom recognize its significance in nurturing football talent in India and contributing to the growth of Indian football at all levels.
About Reliance Foundation Sports:
Reliance Foundation celebrates the spirit of sports – joy, health, grit, determination, winning and losing. And works to ensure that more and more children and youth from all sections of society are able to play sports and, in the process, build a fitter, stronger and more active India. Our initiatives have touched the lives of over 22 million young people since 2013 across the country from 13,000+ schools and colleges, enabling an opportunity for a talented kid anywhere to be able to achieve their dream of a career/glory in sports.
We are especially committed to ensuring more presence and success of girl and women athletes in India and design our programme in a manner that offers them maximum opportunities. At Reliance Foundation, we hope to be the wind beneath the wings of Indian sportspersons and help them reach their true potential. For more information please follow us on https://www.rfyouthsports.com/