Kochi

Combating drugs with football high

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MP, Collector to kick off the inauguration of Venda Cup today

Not often do a Member of Parliament and a District Collector square off on football turf.

Such an encounter will be on show when teams led by Ernakulam MP, Hibi Eden, and District Collector S. Suhas will face off at the Fort Kochi Veli ground on Thursday morning, marking the inauguration of the 17-day-long Venda Cup organised by the NGO Fourth Wave Foundation. Sunil Balakrishnan, chief value officer, UST Global, will also be present.

The tournament is being organised as part of the foundation’s Venda (Say No) Project aimed at weaning away vulnerable youngsters from the lure of substance abuse by offering them the alternative pursuit of football. Into its third year, the number of teams participating in the tournament has increased from four in the first year to 16 the second year and 42 this year.

“With 10 girls’ teams in contention, we are organising a separate tournament for them the first time. The tournament will feature 94 matches involving 672 students from government and aided schools. We also provide full football kits to teams from quarter finals onwards,” said C.C. Joseph, director, Fourth Wave Foundation.

The foundation offers daily football training and the tournament is just a segment of the larger round-the-year project comprising 52 modules for fighting drugs with football. The project has produced talents such as Thomas Mayjo and Alan Soloman K.J., two youngsters from Chellanam, who put up brilliant performances for Indian team that won the Dragon Cup, one of the trophies in the Homeless World Cup held earlier this year at Cardiff in Britain. “We try to inculcate value education through football. For instance, respect is instilled by asking the participants to address their co-players by their names even in the middle of a game. Similarly, each of the 52 modules has an underlying value education,” said Mr. Joseph.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 11:34:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/combating-drugs-with-football-high/article29967005.ece

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