THE Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was in India this week to announce the latest winners of QPR’s Mumbai Soccer Challenge.
Taking place for the ninth successive year, four budding young footballers won a once-in-a-lifetime trip to London – including two girls for the first time.
The Mayor was joined at the finals day by Bollywood screen legend and co-owner of Mumbai City FC, Ranbir Kapoor, as well as R’s co-chairman Tony Fernandes.
“This initiative is another example of the close links between India and London,” Khan told www.qpr.co.uk.
“It has been fantastic to see the passion and skill of these young footballers, and to be able to announce that two girls as well as two boys will be travelling to London to train with Queens Park Rangers.
“I wish them every success and it is heartening to see how grassroots sports can inspire, thrill and change the lives of young people all over the world.”
The event is the initiative of local politician and former minister, Milind Deora, who said: “In the last nine years we have strived to create a level playing field for those kids who have a keen interest in football.
“Year after year we have realised the wonderful talent Mumbai kids have in playing football. I deeply appreciate QPR for their continued support and our innumerable sponsors who have shown great encouragement.”
The children were chosen from thousands of competitors who took part, while the winners’ reward is a 10-day trip to London for a cultural and football experience facilitated by QPR in the Community Trust.
“QPR is a football club with the community at its heart,” R’s co-chairman Fernandes said.
“While most of our charitable efforts are focused on our home in west London, we are delighted that the Mayor of London has come to visit one of our fantastic international projects.
“I’m particularly delighted that next year we will host some Indian girls as well as boys at Loftus Road. Girls’ and women’s football is a big growth area for us, and we look forward to working with the Mayor and the GLA to promote it even further in London in the years ahead.”
QPR look forward to welcoming the winners in 2018!