"Should your income impede your ability to play?"We often asked this question to ourselves that had Ronaldo got a much easier start, will he have joined professional football much earlier?
If you agree with this sentiment, what comes next will appeal to you. We have 2 teams (Boys/Girls) from Powai Municipal School - who have been playing football for last 3 years. This school is a BMC school and these kids have followed their passion for last 3 years without adequate infrastructure and support! But this hasn't stopped them from achieving significant milestones. In Std 5, they didn't qualify in seed rounds. But, with rigorous practice and keen sense of teamwork, they managed to reach quarter finals in Std 6 and semifinals in Std 7 in interschool tournaments. And these kids are not just all play! They are all rounders and are in top 30 percentile of the class. What's more, some very altriustic footballers have agreed to coach them for free every Sunday. This gives us hope that only greatness will come their way this year when they step on that football ground.
So, why are we writing to you? Well, according to the new rule, there has been a huge increment in the registration fees for various tournaments ranging between Rs 3000/- per team to Rs 7000/- per team. What's more, the Navy ground where they practice has demanded Rs 6000/- per month to let them practice. The kids come from low income families (carpenters, maids, drivers kids etc) and have raised enough money for basic equipments like studs, football, jerseys etc. However, the fees above are new and are too steep to bear for their families -(some of whom are daily wage workers).
You think the teams can reach finals and win this year? Then please help them practice (which is now getting done on concrete pathways instead of ground) and help them realize their potential. It is said that one win can give each player enough confidence to withstand pressure against abuse, substance use, poor amenities etc. Your one starbucks trip or one weekend dinner can brighten 20 kids future. Go ahead and do your bit!!!
Teach for India is an organisation that believes in giving all children an excellent education. I'm pursuing my fellowship with them, at a school in Kanjurmarg Navy Colony called Powai Municipal School. I teach Social Studies to 80 amazing kids of Std 8 and Std 9. Sports has been their main distraction from their community which is high on violence. We have a Boys team as well as a Girls team consisting of 10 players. In addition we also have a cricket team having 13 players. The funds raised will be used in their football and cricket coaching and to get them registered in various tournaments and also to purchase the equipments needed for the same.
My name is Bridget. And feel free to reach me out on 91- 9769990973 for any queries or to plan a visit to meet my over enthusiastic kids of Powai Municipal School.