Little Flower Football Academy (LiFFA)
The Latin Archdiocese of Trivandrum launched India's first church funded football Academy, the Little Flower Football Academy (LiFFA) in 2015, with a vision to promote the children of the community who loves playing football. The first batch had 25 boys, most of them were selected from around 80 fishing hamlets spread across a 70-75 km coastal stretch- from Eraimanthura in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu to Anchuthengu in Thrivananthapuram district of Kerala. Selection based on an year-long process starting from initial selection of 300 boys through local tournaments. Forty one boys are now getting trained at St.Vincent's High school ground, Kaniyapuram, under a six member technical team. The Academy also aim to bring in a level of self-discipline among the children of the community.
Akesh the first batch student says "LiFFA has come as a blessing for students in coastal villages who love playing football. Now focused both in football and in our studies, we are leading a disciplined life. I have now started dreaming about wearing the Indian jersey in the near future."
The Director of LiFFA Rev Fr. Thomas Netto says "Our goal is to provide scientific training to these highly talented boys and give them the much needed state and national level exposure".
At present, six boys are U-14 national players, 30 have played for the state and 14 have been hired by Youth I-League teams. The LiFFA U-14 team had won 95% of tournament, which they took part, and emerged the State Champions and represented Kerala in the last Subroto Cup. The Academy has a dream to own a land with full fledged facilities and expand it's training to children from all walks of life.