India looks to Football "made in Hoffenheim"
Hoffenheim has collaborated with U Sports
“U Sports is an ideal partner for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim as we share the common goal of youth talent development”, said Thomas Richter, Head of Hoffenheim’s Match Operations and First-team Administration, who is also responsible for the club’s internationalisation. “This collaboration suits TSG’s philosophy of promoting and developing talented children and youngsters. There is a lot we can learn from one another, both on and off the pitch,” explained Richter.
U Sports, the sports arm of "Unilazer Ventures Pvt. Ltd." will offer the required support in developing the program in order to gradually build up a youth-football infrastructure in a country with a population of over 1.2 billion. The start of the project will be large-scale talent scouting seeking participation from 1,000 schools across 50 cities in India.
Only 30 finest footballers will be selected through the talent hunt for U-Dream program from roughly half a million children between the ages of 12 and 13 in the first quarter of 2015. Those selected, as well as their coaches and supervisors, will visit Kraichgau over the course of the next six years, where TSG will make their complete infrastructure available to them. They will take part in training sessions in the 1899 ACADEMY. Furthermore, the teaching of values and school education will also be considered.
U Sports and 1899 Hoffenheim have established a platform in recent weeks in order to ensure closer contact. TSG will not only be providing consultation, but they will also be actively supporting the project. Hoffenheim youth coaches and supervisors will accompany the young talents from India during their stay in Kraichgau, with trips to India also on the horizon to encourage the fundamental ideas of youth coaching to be passed on locally.
“We’re delighted to be able to use our excellent know-how to support a unique, long-term invested and meaningful project that can serve as a model,” said TSG Chairman Peter Rettig. Furthermore, “we’re taking a further step towards the internationalisation of the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim brand, which will be boosted by further steps in the near future.” For Supratik Sen (CEO – U Sports), this relationship is “an example of how children can be promoted in targeted areas and how football can be developed further in India.” The large Indian corporation has been particularly active in the country’s favourite sport, cricket, for several years. This development comes after the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim first team visited India for a week at the end of last season, gaining many unforgettable experiences and collecting a diverse array of impressions. The activities on the trip included a 3-0 friendly win against a selection of players from the state of Mizoram, watched by around 14 million people.