We are excited to announce the launch of Season 3 of the AIFF Golden Baby Leagues! The past two editions, 2018-19 and 2019-20 have been a great success. It has helped make the dream of playing football a reality for many young boys and girls all over the country.
Unfortunately, the project was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic considering the health and safety of the children. However, now that the children are back in the schools, we look forward to welcoming the children back to the football pitch once again.
“The Golden Baby Leagues have been a huge success in the past, and we have seen children from as remote places as Ladakh take to the pitch. A number of operators have also used the Golden Baby Leagues to impart education on various issues ranging from how to preserve the ecosystem to gender equality,” said Mr. Sunando Dhar, Acting General Secretary, AIFF. “Now that the baby leagues are back, we hope for more people to come forward and take such brilliant initiatives which would not only help football, but also help the future society grow as well.”
The Golden Baby Leagues is a player development project initiated in 2018 by the All India Football Federation for the engagement of players aged U-6 to U-12. The programme aims at providing a platform for every kid to play football in the country.
Its objectives include – providing a game environment for kids, becoming a building block for youth football, developing a football culture, initiating long-term engagement and development of players, creating an environment of fun, learning and friendship and football for all.
“The Golden Baby Leagues are a cornerstone to building a better future for Indian Football, and we are glad that we can once again begin its activities after the pandemic,” said Mr. Savio Medeira, Interim Technical Director and Director, Coach Education, AIFF. “It is our hope that the Golden Baby Leagues will act as a building block for the future, and we can create a better footballing ecosystem.”
Each age group has varying and age-appropriate match formats and standards, and anyone can organise these leagues. The aspiring League Operator has to seek approval from the respective State/Union Territory Football Association.
Now, this can easily be done by downloading the Golden Baby Leagues app and applying to ‘Create a League’ through the mobile app itself. The Mobile app has been updated with new features and logins of parents, referees and scouts, along with team managers and league operators to help conduct the Leagues.
A look into the Past:
During the pandemic many online workshops were conducted for grassroots stakeholders across almost all our Member Associations and we now look forward to see the Golden Baby Leagues reach new districts across India.
A New Leaf
In the upcoming 2022 – 23 edition we hope to see more organisers, member associations, and a wide range of player participation in the leagues. Few features to look forward to:
-1:1 (One All) Subsidy: A subsidy to encourage girls’ participation.
-Futsal and Beach Soccer: Two new sport options added with match formats and standards of play.
-League Categories: More flexibility to League Operators to conduct the Leagues according to the resources available to them
-Child Safeguarding: Codes of Conduct for everyone involved. Free access to FIFA Guardians Safeguarding Essentials online course.
-Translation: Golden Baby Leagues translated into 12 languages viz. Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu, Kannada, Odia, Malayalam, Punjabi and Assamese to reach more people.
You will find more information on the new featured in the Golden Baby Leagues 2022-23 Handbook, which can be downloaded from the AIFF Document Library.