POKHARA, Feb 6: Sahara Club is not a new name for football enthusiasts. The club is one of the leading contributors in the field of Nepali football. However, the Pokhara-based club is not just going to be known for its association with football alone.
The club is scheduled to inaugurate its new academy -- which will train poor and helpless children -- on Friday.
True to its name, Sahara, which means support, plans to educate and provide football training to children under the age of 10. The club has collected donations from within the country and abroad for construction of the academy at Dobilla-17, a lesser known neighborhood of Pokhara. Orphans and children from backward communities will benefit from the academy.
Sahara Club has made a name for itself by lending helping hands to the less fortunate, said the club´s senior vice-president Birbharda Acharya.
“We collect donations and provide support to the helpless,” said Acharya.
The club´s president Bikram Thakali said they have collected Rs 20 million to construct the academy.
“We took the initiative seven years ago and got support from everywhere,” says Thakali.
“If you start a good work with good intention, you get support from everywhere,” added Thakali, as the club got donations from non-resident Nepalis in the UK, Hong Kong, Australia, South Korea, Doha and Qatar as well as from the locals.
The newly built academy has 13 rooms, a 90x60 m football ground and a parapet with a capacity of accommodating 1,000 spectators. The academy spreads in an area of 26 ropanis.
The club, which was established in 1998 with 20 children from Pokhara, has produced players like national striker Anil Gurung. Six years later, the club enrolled 20 more players from 13 districts.
President Thakali informed that the new session will begin from the first month of the Nepali new year, Baishakh, and a public notice for the selection will be issued a month before the training begins.
The club will shortlist 30 children, preferably orphans or from backward communities, for the new training. The children below the age of 10 will stay in the academy, learn football and get formal education for five years. The club hopes to form a good football team in the future.