The former professional football player and Chelsea legend, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink came to Mumbai, India, on the previous weekend as part of the club’s global tour.
The Mumbai visit kicked off with Hasselbaink attending a social reception on March 17, which also witnessed the Bollywood actor, Arjun Kapoor. The 50-year-old visited Dharavi on March 19, where he was accompanied by the CFC Foundation members, who delivered an interactive coaching clinic at the Ekvira Mitra Mandle community centre in the locality.
Commenting on the coaching clinic, Hasselbaink, said, “The kids here participated with such infectious enthusiasm, it was nice to see them keenly listen to everything the coaches and I had to say during the sessions. I also got a first-hand chance to witness the challenges the kids from the area face on a daily basis in terms of participation in sports, education and basic amenities. It was nice to see them smile during the sessions, as we looked to use the power of sport to make them have fun. I am glad that we were able to meet the children and I hope today’s session will stick with them and inspire them in their future.”
Before the coaching clinic, the Reality Gives foundation took Jimmy around Dharavi, where the former football player learned about the daily obstacles faced by the localities in the area.
Following the tour, in a small media interaction, Jimmy answered a few questions:
* Would you be interested in managing an Indian Super League (ISL) team soon?
We don’t know what the future brings, at the moment, I am very busy in England. Currently, I am occupied with the initiatives by the Chelsea Foundation, I really love doing this and I’m really enjoying it.
* How has your life transitioned from a Chelsea player to now carrying out such initiatives with the club?
My life hasn’t changed that much. I’ve always loved Chelsea as I spent the four best years of my career at this very club. My connection with Chelsea is already there and always going to be there. And if I could promote Chelsea in different parts of the world then it would be a good thing for me.
The five-time Premier League champions coming to Mumbai for a multiday global fan experience tour is followed by Chelsea’s multiple interests in exploring the Indian market over the years.
In one of the recent developments, Chelsea teamed up with India’s first sports travel and experiences platform, DreamSetGo. Following this development, DreamSetGo, which is from the house of Dream Sports, has been named the Indian fan experience partner for Chelsea.
In October 2019, the Blues also announced Arjun Kapoor as their brand ambassador for India.
After the above-mentioned developments and Chelsea coming to Mumbai with Jimmy, a lot of new activities could be in the pipeline for the Blues
- Appointing a new celebrity/sportsperson as a brand ambassador for India
- Associating with an India-based brand as a regional partner and enhancing fan engagement through it
- Following the footsteps of Bayern Munich, opening offices in Bangkok, Chelsea could also do the same in India, as the two-time UEFA Champions League winners are also one of the most popular teams in this particular Asian country
With the evergrowing fan following of Chelsea and other Premier League clubs, several European teams could be planning such initiatives and aiming to expand their horizon in the Asian sub-continent.