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ARFAI with Magic Bus India

Posted on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 by ARFAI,

Bernard Phillip, Australian Deputy High Commissioner to India launched the ARFAI-MB partnership under ASOP programme

Launch of the ARFAI-MB partnership under ASOP programme

The Australian Rules Football Association of India (ARFAI) entered into a partnership with international sports NGO, Magic Bus India Foundation, to introduce Footy in the states of Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. The partnership was a part of a 1 year long project under the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP) grant sanctioned by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). During the course of the project, 1000 children from each state were introduced to the national sport of Australia.

ARFAI coaches trained 20 Youth Leaders in each state, who in turn trained batches of children aged between 10-16 years in their respective areas. The home stretch of the project saw a State Championship in each state featuring 10 teams of 12 players each. A selection of the best players from each state tournament formed a junior state team which participated in the ARFAI National Championship 2014.


A striking highlight of the project was the unearthing of a massive talent in Mahesh Tirkey. He started off as a Youth Leader from Ranchi and in the space of 2 months, showcased exceptional ability which propelled him to the Indian Tigers contingent that travelled to Australia for the International Cup 2014. He has been a driving force in the development of Footy in Jharkhand and a benchmark for future ARFAI projects. ARFAI is hopeful of a fledging partnership with Magic Bus that will continue over the years and prove to be mutually beneficial for both organizations.

The CEO of Magic Bus, Mr. Pratik Kumar, was pleasantly surprised by the immense enthusiasm and interest expressed by the coaches and students during the course of the project. Such was the response that he insisted on continuation of the partnership to further hone the skills of the present batch and unravel more talents from the 3 states.