Society

Chasing a new goal

Priya Gopalen and Sandhya Rajan were schoolmates, who hadn’t met for over 20 years. But, they chanced upon each other because their sons, who go to the same school, and are both crazy about football, play the sport together. One day, while the two mothers watched their boys run the length and breadth of the field, kicking the ball around, they realised something was amiss — they felt their sons’ skills needed to improve.

They compared notes on the few football classes available in the locality and realised that neither had found one which catered to what they were looking for. So, it was then that they came up with the idea of the Great Goals football programme. “We wanted focused training as well as all-round sportsmanship,” explains Priya, “We introduced an in-house league, where the kids form teams and play against each other, which helps them learn faster and develop camaraderie.”

“Our coaches tell us that it's all about how much time a kid gets to train with the ball. So, every season, we want the children to feel like they've progressed and accomplished something,” says Sandhya.

The focus, though, is not on pursing championships. While the children who train here are encouraged to pursue the sport professionally if they choose to, there are many who come only to engage in an outdoor activity. “It is important that every child feels comfortable and happy here,” smiles Priya. 

The programme, which started in January 2013 with 40 students, has now grown nearly three times in strength, and includes children aged 4 to 14. They’ve also started a basketball programme, in an effort to involve more girls in sports.

The Great Goals programme has just commenced classes for this season. For details, call 9884632038.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 8:53:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/chasing-a-new-goal/article7326220.ece

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