Just For Kicks organize virtual football leagues, record 3,680 participants

Just For Kicks organized virtual football leagues to engage 3,680 students forming 167 teams across 8 urban and rural sites of India. Enabling Leadership’s ‘Just For Kicks’ is a sport for development program which leverages the power of football to hone critical life skills and enable children from under-resourced schools to carry their leadership learnings from team-sport into real-life situations and challenges.

The virtual program was designed on the backdrop of the pandemic to provide the same experience of team bonding, competitiveness and critical thinking – the key fundamentals of sports. Teams were involved in individual and group challenges focused on each player’s technical abilities. Individual challenges involved juggling, passing, ball control and fitness whereas team challenges consisted of various football-related projects.

The program not only helped instil a sense of normalcy into children but restored faith in parents on the impact sport can have on a child’s holistic development. “Initially, we did not let our child get out of the house. But after the online sessions started we felt that our child was learning and growing. We let him play outside for some time but not too far from the house. He even started working out at home and started playing properly.” quoted Sapna and Prahlad Samudre, Parents.

Alongside the virtual program, life stories of grit, passion, resilience, determination, endurance, strength of students were shared on the platform. Most of the participants come from very humble backgrounds having their unique set of challenges, which only got amplified when the pandemic raged upon us. However, post the program, students have reiterated the sense of purpose, wellness and motivation this initiative has imbibed in them.

“This year I have really enjoyed learning about football. The Virtual League really helped us grow. First, we used to just play, but now we know why we play. First, we just knew that we have to play with the ball, but now because of the virtual challenges we know what exactly can be done using those skills. ” says Rishika, a student.

“Just For Kicks Program has helped children in improving their communication skills. We have made proper use of technology. The program has done a great job by going virtual. It has improved the child to the core.” Bushra Patel, Teacher.

Enabling Leadership is a for-purpose, non-profit organization with a mission to foster leadership skills and life skills in children attending under-resourced schools, through 6-year long innovative and creative programs. The flagship program, Just For Kicks helps under-resourced schools to carry their leadership learnings from the team sport into real-life situations and challenges.

Through the program, children work together as teams to learn communication, collaboration, grit and resilience, as well as football techniques. Each group consists of 2 teams – 10 girls and 10 boys who practice and learn together, preparing them to participate in Just For Kicks regional leagues. The program reached around 140 schools impacting 4790 children across Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, 20 villages in Dharwad and Kumta (Karnataka), and Cambodia.


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