The state-of-the-art residential academy for young footballers is an outcome of Hindustan Zinc’s long association with the sport. Back in 1975, the company organised the Mohan Kumar Mangalam Memorial football tournament at Zawar Stadium in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The tournament’s success and the passion it invoked in the people of Rajasthan prompted Hindustan Zinc to work towards promoting football to ensure a bright future for the local communities.
The academy, which has been set up as part of the company’s CSR programme, focuses on identifying and cultivating hidden talent from the grassroots. The facility is equipped with latest advancements in sports science and technology to train young talent. A technology-based player performance analysis centre has also been set up, which, along with artificial turf grounds, provides an ideal environment for players to grow.
The children selected for admission into the Hindustan Zinc football academy will be trained, guided and monitored by a highly skilled team of health and fitness experts, along with nutritionists. All players will be made to undergo rigorous training for four to six hours a day for five to six years, until they turn 18 and are ready to take part in national and international tournaments. By introducing latest technology into the programme, every child’s individual skills, bodyweight, energy, strength and stamina will be tested and monitored on a regular basis. All facilities, including football kits and accessories, will be provided to the players by the academy. A detailed profile of each and every player will be created to build a digital talent database and track the impact of Zinc Football.
The students/athletes admitted into the academy are selected through scouting camps organised across Rajasthan to identify raw talent. In addition to this, Zinc Football scouts keep an eye on district and state-level tournaments to shortlist and select talented footballers. The residential academy at Zawar currently has 40 children who have been selected after reviewing nearly over 4000 candidates at 23 scouting camps organised in Udaipur, Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand and Ajmer districts. While the best of the lot are selected for the academy, the others get a chance to continue playing at the 12 community football centres under the supervision of certified trainers.
The programme lays special focus on providing quality education to children housed in the academy. Apart from receiving training from top Indian and international football coaches, along with health and nutrition experts, the students are made to follow a thorough school curriculum so that they excel in broth sports and academics. Hindustan Zinc’s association with over 50 schools through its Shiksha Sambal project ensures that the children’s formal education is not compromised.
At its residential academy in Zawar, Zinc Football has set up a world-class player performance analysis centre, which uses the revolutionary F-Cube technology to monitor and enhance a candidate’s ability to perform on the field. To develop an ideal football ecosystem, the academy also has artificial turf grounds and a team of highly skilled professionals who closely work with players and review their game on a daily basis. On the education front, the academy provides state-of-the-art classrooms to children with digital boards and several other tools which enrich the overall academic experience. The children staying at the facility are provided free course books and stationary, apart from top quality football kit and accessories so that they can do well in both sports and academics.