Kolkata, June 4 (IANS) Kolkata Goalz - a joint sporting initiative of the city police and the British Council - has helped in community development and bring people of high deprivation areas closer to the police force, according to a British minister and local police officials.
"Such initiatives not only help the community to develop but make people realise that the police force is for their own benefit. (West) Bengal is known for its football and I am sure the initiative will help nurture more budding talents," said British Secretary for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles.
He was speaking at a Kolkata Goalz event at Nadial in the city Monday. Pickles interacted with the young participants of the skills project.
Deputy Commissioner (Port) of city police V. Solomon said the initiative has been not only successful in nurturing budding footballers, but has been a catalyst for community development as well as restoring people's faith in the police force.
The Goalz project starting in 2011, is operational currently in 12 venues covering 24 police stations across the city and involves weekly football training sessions, cultural activities, health awareness campaigns etc.
Led by the British Council and the city police with inputs from the English Premier League, the project has nine Kolkata Premier League Football clubs including Mohun Bagan and East Bengal as associates.
With the project being "highly successful", the Council is planning to extend it other parts of the state as well as the country.
"Encouraged by its high success, the Council is planning to launch the event to other parts of Bengal as well as the country. We have definite plans for that and may start the process within this year," Radhika Singh of the Council said.