I'm Chidambaram, a runner who believes deeply that the future of our nation depends immensely on how we uplift those at the bottom of the pyramid. I'm very deeply struck by the incredible work 'Just For Kicks' is doing by bringing football into the lives of children attending low-income schools, just as much as am by the young social entrepreneurs who lead the same.
I've run more than 26 timed half marathons and 3 full marathons thus far. To raise funds for JFK, I'm going to add a few more runs to that tally. I've begun this year strongly transitioning from a 'plodder' to a 'runner' as I completed my first sub 2:00 hour half marathon.
I'm looking at running the Thane Half on Feb 14th, Edurathon 54 (27km) on 21st Feb, and the IIT Marathon on 5th March. In addition, I'll also be running an ultra marathon (100km) later this year with the right training, for which I'm going to be running a full marathon to build endurance. These four runs will raise awareness and hopefully crucial financial support that Just For Kicks needs and deserves.
Note: All money raised here will directly go to Just For Kicks bank account. All my expenses for the runs are self-funded.
Read more about Just For Kicks below, straight from the horse's mouth.
WHAT IS JUST FOR KICKS?
The idea of Just For Kicks was born in our minds in 2011 when we served as teachers in low income schools in Pune, India. As teachers constantly looking to instil a sense of community in our classroom, we turned to football to provide the impetus. Within a few months of kicking off the program, we noticed a positive change in the classroom culture with students working as one unit. Academic performance, classroom behaviour, social skills, attendance rates increased by leaps and bounds.
Having been teachers ourselves, we strongly believe in the power of sport in creating a huge impact in the education space. The game becomes a third place to the children - beyond the struggles of home and pressures of School - to express themselves freely and come into their own. At the same time, we also believe that Just For Kicks can serve as a launch pad for some of the hidden talents in our country - a platform our country desperately needs.
Full story, as narrated by Vikas Plakkot (Co-Founder), at TEDx Pune here
We identify schools that cater to under resourced communities - both public and private schools - and match them with a coach. The coaches work closely with the teachers and the children to develop teams of 10 each in various divisions (junior, senior, super senior - boys and girls).
Coaches train the students using our life skills based football curriculum while working closely with both parents and teachers to build a cohesive culture. Schools which do not have playgrounds are provided access to nearby grounds and students are provided with all the necessary gear to play, as well. The training period spans four months of fall during which the teams play friendlies with other teams from different parts of the cities.
In the beginning of Winter, we kick start the league (www.sfcleague.com) when teams from a cluster play home and away games against the other teams that culminates in a nation wide tournament. During the tournament, we bring in scouts from different parts of the World to watch the talent and potentially provide scholarships for further development. This year, we've partnered with Crystal Palace FC in the UK to select ten of our kids.
We are looking to raise the money on Milaap to fund this year's coaching operations. Your funding will be utilized for:
a) Fees of the professional coaches
b) Renting grounds/ pitches close to school areasc) Providing training equipments like ladders, parachutes, cones.
You can also be a team owner through a direct donation of USD 250 (INR 15000). You will be matched to a team of your choice and will serve as a mentor to them apart from funding. If not an IPL or ISL team, how about owning a kids' team? If interested in this, contact Vikas - firstname.lastname@example.org