After Manchester United, coaches from Arsenal will be imparting football skills to schoolchildren in the country.
Tea manufacturer, Tata Tea, has taken the initiative and the programme will be known as the Tata Tea Arsenal Soccer Stars Programme, which will involve children in the age group of 10-15 years, the company said in a statement. And 15 will be finally selected for attend an Arsenal training camp in Britain as well as entry to the much awaited Arsenal International Soccer Festival in London in August 2008.
Announcing this, Tata Tea executive director Sangeeta Talwar said: "We have selected soccer, which has a lot of interest among teenagers and what better way to bring this awakening but to associate ourselves with a world premier soccer club - Arsenal."
As a part of the programme, school tournaments will be held in nine cities - Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Calicut, Goa, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Bhubaneshwar and Shillong - from January 11 to May 4. The final round will be held in Kolkata May 9-10, where 16 teams from nine cities will take part.
From the tournament, 30 boys will be selected for a two-week and given two weeks' coaching by Arsenal coaches in Kolkata. This will be followed by a final selection of 15 boys, who will be trained in Britain.
Adrian Ford, commercial director, Arsenal, said: "At Arsenal, our aim is always to identify and encourage young talent for the betterment of the game. We are glad that Tata Tea has taken the initiative. Soccer Stars is a fantastic platform for budding young footballers and we hope this will contribute in propagating this wonderful sport further in India."