JFC – JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
IT’S SERIOUS SOCCER TIME FOR KIDS IN THE CITY
The Junior Football Championship League (JFC) has forever changed the children’s sports scene in Mumbai
If more than 400 kids in the city and their parents now wake up early every Saturday morning, it is not to have leisurely breakfast and lie in front of the TV. It’s not even for cricket. It is to play competitive soccer on one of the most beautiful grounds in the city, the Western Railways Association Ground. So if you head to Lower Parel on any given Saturday morning either from South Bombay or the suburbs, chances are you will pass more than a few cars carrying kids with Junior Football League logos on their T Shirts.
The JFC has a league for 4 different age groups which go from 5 years to 12 years. The championship runs from November to March on every Saturday morning. The atmosphere is electric. Besides great music the barbecue is amazing where you can get Hot Dogs, Burgers and Eggs and bacon.
JFC provides activities for young parents with toddlers. There is programme called Soccer Tots, for kids aged 2.5years to 4, has also been develop to further fine tune develop a child’s motor skill and agility.
Singer Shaan calls the event “the most refreshing way to start a weekend with the family. Open air, great food, music and seeing both my sons play football, I can’t ask for more. My whole family waits eagerly for the JFC every weekend.” And indeed, more than an opportunity for the kids to play competitively, improve their soccer skills and build new ones, the JFC has become a meeting point for entire like-minded families who believe in an active lifestyle. Once a month, there is a family day when parents and kids switch sides and the adults play friendly matches just for fun. Parents’ participation is valued, and each team has a parent coach as well. Moms and dads are encouraged to watch the game closely and cheer their kids on, which creates a unique, vibrant atmosphere on the field.
The event has seen some major upgradations since last year – more and better international and Indian coaches, better kits, a changing room provided on the grounds, gourmet catering for healthy (and not so healthy) breakfast / brunch. The company has also expanded their training to Pune and Chandigarh with great success, and started taking its young fans to soccer camps abroad.
ABOUT PSLG AND THE JUNIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
The Phoenix Sports and Leisure Group (PSLG – www.pslg.co) started the JFC League (www.jfcleague.com) last year as an attempt to replicate foreign professionally run football leagues, and encourage Mumbai kids to play the game in a healthy competitive environment, and enjoy being part of a team. From an unknown entity, the JFC has become the premier professionally run football league for kids (from 5 to 12 years old) in the city. Industry and entertainment names like Indiabulls, Infinity Cars, Raghavendar Rathore, have sponsored teams. Singer Shaan, actor and designer Nandita Mathani have also sponsored a JFC team each.