Football stars flag off 'GIFT' parade

Last Updated: Sat, Mar 16, 2013 14:14 hrs

Panjim, Mar 16 (IBNS) The "Goa International Football Table" (GIFT), India's first ever football summit, is currently being held in Panjim, Goa, where stalwarts from the football community are discussing the scope and future of football in India and formulating a concise football charter.

Some of the greatest football stars from yesteryears alongwith players from the present Indian football team had come together to flag off the spectacular sporting spectacle.

A galaxy of football stars like Sunil Chhetri, India´s current football team captain, Bollywood actor Sunil Shetty, former football player and Dronacharya Awardee Syed Naeemuddin, ex-Indian football players Magan Singh and Inder Singh, alongwith popular football juggler Jestes Antony, kicked-off the parade from Marriotts at 10.00 am on Saturday and from there on visited different schools around Panjim.

The star-studded float led by Dr. Rufino Monteiro (Chairman, GFDC) and a fleet of staff from Goa Football Development Council (GFDC) interacted with school kids and gave away footballs sponsored by Nivia-Freewill to promote the fun-loving sport.

The gala parade made a stopover at Don Bosco School (Panjim), Sharda Mandir School (Miramar), Our Lady of the Rosary (Dona Paula), Auxilium Convent (Caranzalem) and finally Red Rosary School in Miramar.

The float which was exquisitely decorated with the GFDC logo grabbed the attention of every passerby and attracted crowds of sports enthusiasts.

While the kids were overjoyed to meet their favourite football icons, the highlight of the parade was the felicitation of the stars by the Principal of each school.

Speaking on the occasion, Sunil Chhetri said, "The difference between all of us here and you'll children is that you still have a chance to choose a career.

"You can be anything that you want in life but always follow your dream and while you do that, it's very important that you take up a sport because no matter what game you play, the game is going to make you a better human being and I can tell you that from my own experience."

As the awardees followed the entourage with pride, school students and the locals on the streets joined the convoy with full enthusiasm while football stars kept the excitement going with their animated stunts and friendly approach.

More from Sify: