About a year back, at one of our sessions, Divya asked "main bhi khel lu" (Can I play as well?) and since then there's been no looking back...Divya always accompanied her younger sister to football sessions in Sangam Vihar and events and carefully watched over her and the game from the sidelines. Within 3 months of joining the training, she emerged as the fittest player in the team. She is always eager to learn new skills and is now technically one of the most sound players. At the time of team selections, she was an automatic choice for the No.1 position of a goalkeeper.
From a shy hesitant kid, she is now the captain of the team and she recently led them to a runner-up trophy at Kickstart Women's Football League. Currently, in the 10th grade, Pooja has already set her college aspirations at Jesus Et Mary College, one of the few institutions where women's sports is a strong part of their culture.
He used to always wake up at 4 a.m. in the morning, help his father with his tea-stall, and come to school every day.That way, life was perfect...However, in school, it became a little imperfect. For Ganga did not know how to control his anger! He used to get angry and get into fights and obviously not like it. He was always a very caring, loving kid, full of energy, however, the imperfection was, his way of showing love, care and energy were violence and anger. Football changed it around and the disciplined his attitude. He was always a great athlete but the KKM League exposed Ganga to a competitive sports platform and generated his interest in Football. He decided to enroll in football classes at Thyagraj Stadium in the summer of 2015 and there was never turning back from then! He went to the class every day, practiced every day. He learn’t how to solve conflicts in a team with love and patience, today in the classroom, he helps other students solve their fights! He learn’t how to be thankful for what he has, once he wrote on his football, “thank you football” and when asked why, he said, “jo humare liye kuch karta hai use thank you to bolna hi chahiye.” (Those who do something for us, we should say thank you to them). You can say football made him a better person, I would say, he was always a beautiful person, football just helped him unleash that for himself!
Now, he has been selected for the U-16 team of Delhi Dynamos Football Club, goes to practice every day, and is superbly happy, humble, thankful and confident child.
In just 7-8 days of coaching, she outperformed and became a star player...In 2015 when I joined as a Teach for India Fellow, I was passionate to improve academics as well as sports level of each potential kid of my school in Bhadola. When I started making my school team for games, Kajal was not on top of my mind for any game but after conducting trials, I selected her in kho-kho team.
Kajal looks like any other girl from the Bhadola, a low-income community in Delhi, a small 4-foot girl. When she went for her first Kho-Kho KKM League event the opponents also felt she was just another ordinary girl, and were happy to see that they only had to face such a small girl. They had never ever imagined that the small girl will become a nightmare for them and a beauty for the eyes of all the viewers.
In both 2015-16 and 2016-17, she became star player of KKM as well as MCD Zonal games. Finally, I took the plunge to get her get admitted to kho-kho focussed school at Kohat Enclave, where specific coaching is given for the same. But Kajal’s parents were not at all ready for the same, they became a nightmare for me, I had to take at least 5-6 counseling sessions in person and on phone of the parents. Finally, I made them sit in my car and took them to school, half-heartedly her mother agreed and started taking her to the school for coaching. The national championship was just 10 days from the coaching start day and the coach of Kohat school had already finalized the team. I personally sat with him twice and convinced him of the potential and told him the strengths, he actually found that in Kajal and finally found her better than many previous players and thus she got a chance to play in the kho-kho sub- junior national championship from Delhi. Eureka !!!!
Fellowship with a Non- Profit Organization; No pay; uncertain challenges every day!...Most of my kind working in one of the corporate houses would shun the idea of availing the opportunity. After all, it leaves you 3-4 hours less of time every day, which is a luxury working in the consulting industry.
I wasn’t very different in June 2016!
The only difference being that I have always been of the exploring kind. With interest to explore the Sports for Development space, I delve in!
Day 1, you acclimatize yourself with the realities beyond what you perceive in everyday life. Nimri was one of a kind! Untapped aggression, lack of teachers – more so lack of a proper learning system. What do you expect from 4 teachers running the school?
How does S4D a.k.a does Sports for Development fit in? I’ve often found myself asking the question all along the journey.
Fast forwarding 8 months to February 2017, I think I might have found the answer in representing Nimri Colony school at the KKMF league finals in which Nimri lifted the runner’s up trophy. First timers had displaced the established!
The most relished have been the phone calls from the principal to continue for 2017. Nonetheless, the progress that I see in the school today is leaps and bounds far from what it was in June 2016. The school, now, has a dedicated Volleyball field, and a football playing area; the teachers make up for the responsibilities that I carried for 6 months.
The push has been a derivative of the results that children have produced. The recognition school received in the tournament not only lifted the confidence of the players involved but also of those who were off the field.
That, I feel is more impactful and important than the achievement of the team. It really sets up the stage for the younger ones to come in and gain out of a renewed sporting regime in the school.
Finally, S4D starts making sense, when I see the multiplied effects of my effort transformed into the hard work that the teachers and the students are put in every day.
Across 80 schools have been covered under our Programs.
impact we made
90% of these children experienced sports for the first time
11:10 gender ratio: For every 10 boys there are 11 girls participating in our programs