Monthly Archives: May 2014

“The country is finally waking up to the importance of having a progressive grassroots program”

unnamedWith the FIFA declared World Grassroots Day having passed us by, we decided to have a few words with Sylvester Peter on the efforts being made to strengthen the grassroots of football. Peter’s My Angels Academy came to our attention in 2012 and his work with underprivileged kids has been an inspiration while his work also makes him a good judge of how the development of the game at the most basic level can be taken forward.

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Churchill, Rangdajied & United SC axed from I-League

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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) demoted three I-League teams – Churchill Brothers, Rangdajied United and United SC from the country’s premier league for failing to meet the Club Licensing criteria. These conditions were set in accordance to the guidelines set by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Asia’s highest football body.

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Ball of Music

Ball of Music

You have youtube videos of five and six year old kids playing a guitar or a piano, which is truly amazing. The patience needed to sit through a guitar lesson which sounds like noise till it becomes music, by the super natural parents are the true contributors to the development of these children. The patience and the encouragement these children receive is the reason why they perform better.

The important lesson here that I have recently grasped is , that might is rarely right, if a parent misses out just a little in the shaping of a young mind, our future will have an underlining tone of mediocrity.

I have seen enough young kids complaining, that their elder brothers don’t let them play/participate, I have seen parents fail in striking that very needed balance. I have seen and witnessed the young being robbed of their motivation and enthusiasm, people forget india is the single largest democracy, it is time we act like one.

Football does not have a under arm mind set.It does not teach discrimination born of sex, age or economic disparity. “You dont need Chottu’s”

A single piece of sporting equipment engages 22 people and many more in spirit. “A single” not a bat and a ball, or a stick and a ball, not a racket and a ball, or for that matter even wrestling that needs no equipment engages only two. Please don’t misunderstand, all sport are equally important but football can reach more and engage more for very little. Not referring to professional level, this is in reference to a developing kids needs and requirements.

This particular sport may be the driving force behind channeling the youth to a constructive path rather than an empty or destructive one. To understand this in a greater detail, schools and colleges don’t have sufficient sporting infrastructure, that can cater to the needs. Timing, procedure, crowding are just a few problems. The impatient and defiant young seeks other distractions and not all are constructive. This too is where the problem stems from.

Throw a football amongst a group of kids and watch the magic unravel.

Let us take a case study to better understand this, say an orphanage has a sporting program. They are limited by funds manpower yet they have to contribute to the over all development of the kid. They have to teach them discipline, sharing in the best possible manner. Which sport do you think is the apt one?
Cricket has the issue of “Me First” . Hockey, to give in the hands of the ingesting young a hockey stick is a supervision disaster. Individual sports like tennis and badminton due to the limitation of equipment propagate unequal opportunity. Hence many orphanages have football as there main sport.

Now we all are well aware of the ratios and the poverty line math.

So clearly the potential is great. Then why has the all-weather sport not developed as a platform providing equal opportunity to all who seeking it?

On the pitch barefooted kids can out perform even the well funded. The ball really does not care.

Which means football teaches you to better yourself cause no equipment is going to aid you in any way. It instills healthy competition, and in my books takes the place of a true democratic sport.

Football is a sport that unites and also levels the playing field by providing equal opportunity. One is only limited by their own imagination and determination, and in-order to succeed one has to think beyond themselves. A single piece of sporting equipment teaches brotherhood, sharing, unity and emancipating feel of community. Such is the magic of this particular round ball.