“After six months of lockdown, everything is different for us” – Awais Shaikh, Founder Feugo Tormento FC

Sports like life in adversities is all about bouncing back. When the pandemic first hit India in January, the nation failed to foresee the awaited challenges. After seven months, gradually when the country seeks to unlock itself, football is reviving at a slow pace.

For every small and medium-sized business alongside most of the MNCs, the liabilities column of the balance sheet has soared. Most industries faced immense losses and such is the case for the Sports Industry as well.

“After 6 months of lockdown, everything is different for us” informed Awais Shaikh, the Founder of Feugo Tormento Football Club. A grinding halt of six long months has heavily affected teams economically and has changed the entire scenario. The pandemic distressed the younger generation physically and the effects on mental health seem troublesome. Even if the cities are flexing the lockdown norms, parents are very afraid to send their children out.

In this scenario, as Awais says, “Sports has a huge role to play”. He believes that not only does sport help maintain fitness, but it has numerous psychological implications. “Sport plays a huge role in this pandemic. Not only does it increase immunity but also refreshes the mind. People need to be brave and get involved in Sports. Sitting at home and thinking of vaccine invention is anyway not helping, it’s better to step out, go for a run, cycling or maybe opt a sport” says Awais.

While Feugo Tormento resumed practice sessions adhering to all the Standing Operating Procedures, they are facing glaring difficulties to restart grassroots activities. “Around 20% of our total students started to train. Our grassroots academy started fairly with 40 students. We are sincerely thankful to all the parents who trusted us and are sending their kids.” explains Awais.

During the lockdown, Feugo Tormento organized online coaching sessions and focused on core building for their MDFA teams. But Awais strongly believes that practicing football individually at home is a difficult concept.

“Unfortunately, the turfs were closed during the lockdown. We started to train on the beaches, public parks and even on the empty roads early morning. Usually, we were interrupted by the police and were not allowed to train” recalls Awais.

“We organized online sessions. However, only 15% of the whole academy was convinced to take up something like that. The best thing about football is scoring goals and kids can’t do the same at home. There wasn’t much of an inclination towards online coaching. We even organized football education sessions and hired a nutritionist to speak about maintaining a good diet in lockdown” said Awais.

With the sponsors pulling out, the team has struggled financially. However, with the new season setting to start, Feugo has resumed their 1st and 3rd Division team sessions. They have organized trials and inducted top players from the fraternity.

“We have taken complete precautions and followed the SOP given by the government. We have installed sanitization machines at the turfs, installed sanitizer stands and coaches are strictly wearing the mask and gloves. We are doing regular temperature checking pre and post sessions to make sure all are safe” asserts Awais.

Feugo Tormento recently got a promotion to the MDFA 1st Division after a promising performance last season. The team conceded 2 goals and scored 30+ goals in their entire campaign where they played 11 matches. The 3rd Division team sees its players coming from the Grassroot academies, which is located in five centres at Mumbai. The management consists of certified coaches from the Australian Coaching Council and the organization is regarded as one of the best academies from the city.


Also Read: Ishan Pandita: I will let my play do the talking

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