Vipin and his football academy in TVM train aspiring players for free despite struggles


Anand P

Vipin

Talent alone couldn’t guarantee that a player could have a successful career in any sport. For it to be ideal, the talent needed to be chiselled into a splendacious product that could stand out from the rest. To do so requires proper training, mentoring and conditioning provided to the players promptly.

Vipin, a 33-year-old former footballer and a coach from Thiruvananthapuram has followed this mantra in his life by shouldering an academy all by himself in Thiruvananthapuram for nurturing young and promising footballing talents in the state.

vipin
Vipin with the kids

Newport Football Academy, founded by Vipin situated in Pudhiyathura provides training for youngsters free of cost with little help from outside. The academy was so successful that it end up grooming many promising talents since its inception four years ago.

Vipin is a British council’s premier skills certified soccer coach and has so far provided training to around 300+ kids belonging to very humble family backgrounds. The training is carried despite there being a shortage of funds available to run a football training academy.

football
Football training section

Siju Stephen, who was selected to represent Karnataka in Santosh Trophy, attributed his success to Vipin and his academy. “Since my days in school, he persuaded kids like me in our neighbourhood to attend training every morning in the academy. Despite hardships, he provided the training daily without fail. The kids thronged to the academy due to this dedication and passion for the game,” he said.

The students from all age groups are being trained in the academy. The training gears were also provided by the academy since many of the kids couldn’t bear the expense.

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Young trainees with Vipin

“Most of these aspiring young children are from poor fishermen communities in the area. Therefore, the coaching was provided free of cost to these children without putting pressure on them. I was able to give the training required for them to get recognition in a bigger stage,” Vipin told mathrubhumi.com.

For the last four years, Vipin has sacrificed a lot for the development of the academy from scratch. He lost his job as a coach during the covid pandemic and is going through some financial crisis.

“I started this academy purely based on my passion for football. During my playing career, I was fortunate enough to be selected for the Titanium team. However, the financial situation and hardships of life had cut shorten my career. It was this experience that lead me to start the academy,” he said.

vipin with the kids
Vipin with the kids

Despite the success, the academy is now facing financial difficulties. Vipin is unable to find people who share his passion and admiration for the game. Currently, the training is carried out on a football turf in the nearby area on a daily rent basis.

“I have invested a lot of money into the academy. After losing my job, I am unable to put any more into the project. Fortunately, we had a few sponsors who provide us with training kits, and other basic materials. However, it is not enough to train such a large number of children and keep the academy moving forward,” he added.

The training is normally provided early in the morning or during the evening after school hours. Along with boys, girls are also trained in the academy.

Anyone willing to contribute to help bolster the academy can contact Vipin (8129400207).

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