The Leaders visited the Santiago Bernabéu stadium and learned about Fundación Real Madrid’s projects in India
After the visit to Instituto Cervantes, the Indian Leaders Programme continued on its agenda with a visit to the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. The participants took a tour of the facilities together with Álvaro Escribano, Vice-Chancellor of International Relations at UC3M, guided by the Real Madrid’s Protocol and External Relations team. During the tour, they had the chance to visit the VIP lounge and the changing room and even stand on the pitch by the benches, moments which were immortalised with numerous photographs.
Although cricket is India’s national sport, there are also many football fans, as confirmed by Ayesha Banerjee, Education Editor at the Hindustan Times: “Even though Indian society does not know much about Spain, everybody knows Real Madrid.” “Together with the bilateral agreements we wish to sign, football can be a determining factor to attract Indian students to the city,” she said.
Fundación Real Madrid is committed to India, where it has a number of projects in place, such as a sports school in Tamil Nadu which it operates with Fundación Esperanza y Alegría and which is home to over 200 children. The project, implemented last year, aims to help at-risk young people through sports and healthcare. However, the school not only offers sports coaching, but also activities to promote values such as respect, gender equality, integration and healthy habits. This centre is in addition to the first school that Fundación Real Madrid opened in India, working with the Institute for Indian Mother and Child (IIMC), in Kheadah in April 2011, which also helps over 200 boys and girls.
After the tour of the stadium, the Indian delegation enjoyed a relaxed lunch at RealCafé Bernabéu, which offers a panoramic view of the pitch.