“Football for Health” Launched by Smt. Salma Ansari
And International Footballer, Jonas Olsson in Delhi
An Initiative of Breathe Easy India and Youth Football International
Mrs. Salma Ansari, spouse of Hon’ble Vice President of India launched ‘Football for Health’ for the children of Bapu School along with Breathe Easy India, Youth Football International and West Bromwich Albion Club officials. Breathe Easy India Foundation has partnered with Youth Football International (YFI) in launching ‘Football for Health” to empower over 200 under-privileged children in the age group of 8-14 years of Bapu School at Bhagwanpura, New Delhi. The Bapu School is supported by Al Noor Charitable Society under the guidance of Mrs. Ansari. Star Swedish footballer, Jonas Olsson kicked-off this special project and inspired kids to play football on Friday, May 27 during a heart warming interaction between the Football star and the children. The long-term intent of Breathe Easy India is to use Football and other sports to foster holistic development of under-privileged children across Delhi, and to ensure that they remain healthy. Over 300 children of Bhagwanpura interacted with the visiting faculty of West Bromwich Albion club and Youth Football International members including, Paul Schuttenbelt, Ian Skidmore, Rob Lake, Rickard Lind, among others.
Mrs. Ansari stated at the event, “With the number of health and drug addiction problems increasing, we need to take such initiatives further by espousing a systematic approach for better health and fitness especially among children and the youth. This wholesome initiative by Breathe Easy India and Youth Football International is a heart-warming step towards youth development and wellness that will in the near future mobilize the children and youth of Bhagwanpura towards healthy, wholesome living for these kids who are often victims of drug abuse. We should feel proud of every contribution that we can make towards fostering a healthy society. On my part, I will continue my interactions with the children and youth of Bhagwanpura and with other marginalized communities that need a fillip in life.” The Al Noor Charitable Society founded in 1998, has been since doing charitable work by educating, empowering and enabling underprivileged and marginalized communities.
According to Star Swedish Footballer, Jonas Olsson, “I wanted to see the real India, get out on the streets, in the slums and spend time with children who have a real passion for football. It was indeed thrilling to witness the enthusiasm for Football among the kids of Bapu School. Football is an excellent medium to holistically develop children. I think the sincere efforts of NGOs like Breathe Easy India, Al Noor Charitable Society and Youth Football International can raise the skills of these kids from one level to another with proper guidance, nutrition and tips.”
Managing Trustee of Breathe Easy India, Author and Clinical Psychologist, Aanchal Bhatia elaborated on the objective of the initiative, “We are very happy to facilitate this landmark project along with Youth Football International, Al Noor Charitable Society and Jonas Olsson for the children of Bapu School of Bhagwanpura. This project through ‘football for development approach’ in marginalized communities situated across Delhi will help to develop personal and socio-skills such as teamwork, leadership and confidence among children. We will also simultaneously take steps in the future to make them aware of key issues related to their overall health. The ultimate objective is to prepare strong and responsible citizens who would readily contribute to society. Also, we will fund the team and provide complete football gear to the children on a constant basis.”
Breathe Easy India will offer a base curriculum of 20-25 sessions covering issues around the domain of health, hygiene, nutrition, active play, socio-emotional skills and leadership qualities. Youth Football International on its part will put forward a football based curriculum for the children. In addition to this, a top-up curriculum of 5-10 sessions will be designed based on the needs and requirements of the community.
According to Paul Schuttenbelt of Youth Football International, “Children will improve their fitness, hygiene and food habits as well as get an opportunity to play – a right as per the child rights convention. Moreover, they will play under the guidance of community youth leaders in a safe playfield. 30 children selected from local communities will be further groomed through a football specialized program and travel that will do wonders for their general well-being and confidence.”
A selection process would be conducted to provide equal opportunity in participation for all under-privileged children interested in this Program of Excellence. Football training sessions would be given to the selected children and youth who will play matches with international club teams under the ‘Breathe Easy India’ banner.
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