TWENTY talented youngsters from northern India enjoyed a sporting stay in Southampton on the first trip of a new programme of international collaboration.

A customised ten-day sports and educational tour included specialist football training and coaching sessions, and visits to sports facilities and key tourist attractions across Hampshire and London.

An awards ceremony in Southampton City Council's mayor's parlour marked the end of the inaugural UK Elite Sports Group (UKESG) tour, aimed at promoting cross-cultural understanding and strengthening UK-India ties.

READ MORE: Southampton City Ambassador programme is launched

Participants were presented with their medals and certificates by the Lord Mayor of Southampton, Cllr Jacqui Rayment. 

The group participated in several specialist training sessions with elite football coaches, including at Hampshire FA's Stoneham Lane complex with UEFA A Licence holder Lisa Savage, played friendly matches with local teams including Hythe and Dibden FC and visited Stamford Bridge, as well as sightseeing in London, at Marwell Zoo, Westquay, and Spinnaker Tower.

The tours are aimed at youth players with a focus on developing talent and ensuring participants gain an invaluable life experience. UKESG provides an insight into life as a professional sportsperson with masterclass coaching, tactical and technical advice, nutrition and strength and conditioning tips, and mental agility workshops.

Daily Echo:

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Leader of Southampton City Council, said: "I am delighted to extend our congratulations to the UK Elite Sports Group and network of supporting partners for facilitating this exciting inbound sports and educational tour from India. The UK and India have a long standing and cherished relationship based on shared values, interests and vision. As well as promoting global knowledge exchange, skills and cultural immersion, these innovative programmes provide an ideal opportunity to promote the city’s world-class assets, institutions and facilities which thrive on connecting diverse communities and cultures for shared prosperity.”

The youngsters were students from Manav Rachna Sports Academy, located in Faridabad in the North Indian State of Haryana.

The UKESG programme has been launched in collaboration with Southampton City Council, India Business Group, Decathlon, Foot Anstey LLP, Solent University & New Place Hotel.


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