Swans establish links in India
27th January 2015
The Swans are continuing to spread the Welsh gospel across the globe after establishing solid links in India.
Having spent a week in India recently as part of the Barclays Premier League Live event, the club is determined to keep building on the goodwill and support the Swans are currently receiving.
Cricket may still currently be the national sport of India, but the popularity of football has exploded over recent years thanks to the growing TV coverage of the Premier League and the recent creation of the inaugural Indian Super League.
And Swans vice-chairman Leigh Dineen, who moved to Kolkata for eight years with his family when he was aged four, is determined to push the Swans to the forefront of that explosion after establishing fantastic links with some of India's most influential groups.
Dineen took time out from the Barclays Premier League Live show, which attracted more than 30,000 people to the event over the course of a weekend, to take a look at India's impressive Kolkata Goalz project and meet the committed people behind it.
The Kolkata Goalz project is part of an international collaboration between the Premier League and the British Council that has engaged with nearly 100,000 young people in its various formats.
It is inspired by the Kickz programme, which Swansea's own Neil Taylor helped to promote with a personal visit to India last year, and helps build positive relationships between young people in high deprivation areas and local authorities through sport, in particular football.
Over the last three year it has been operational in 12 venues across Kolkata, covering 24 police station jurisdictions and reaching out to thousands of youngsters between the ages of 12 and 18. It involves weekly football training sessions, and other activities, including English language tutoring.
Its vision is to create safer, stronger and more respectful communities through the development of young people's potential via sport.
While in India, Dineen officially offered the club's assistance with the project through a meeting with Inspector Soven Banerjee, Officer in Charge of the Community Policing Wing of Kolkata Police; plus Sanjay Sarkar, Senior Project Manager Society, East India, of the British Council.
"The trip proved extremely valuable," explained Dineen. "The Premier League is extremely popular throughout India and it was surprising to discover how much they knew about the Swans.
"They love football and it was important for us to start building strong relationships with the people out there because I see India, as well as America, as the next two key markets that are going to expand."