Most of our children come from the streets or construction sites or slums where education is not a priority. When they first come to us they are usually malnourished and in many cases victims of substance, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse. They don’t have good concentration to sit in a classroom for many hours. One thing that they are naturally good at, is sports. Since their bodies are exposed to the extreme conditions and temperatures from when they are born and many have helped their parents at physical work, they are physically strong and with a better diet and regular exercise, have shown to truly flourish.
From our early days in 2013, we always had sports as part of the curriculum. We’ve hosted Sports days since then on different public grounds. What we were lacking was a dedicated space and infrastructure where we could get formal coaching for our children so that their natural strength and stamina could be channeled to sports performance. Since 2019, we have moved to the Pathshala Hostel Campus grounds with a football field and basketball court on campus.
Football: Thanks to Mr. Chittaranjan Dey, Mr. Sandeep Desai and Coach Mahima of Baroda Football Academy to make their football dreams come true. Starting November 2021, we have weekly coaching for our children on campus. They also participate in tournament matches in BFA campus in Gotri, Vadodara regularly. Given that it has been less than 6 months since we’ve started formal training for our children, our Girls’ team won the K.K Vithani Memorial All Gujarat Football Tournament (May 2022). Our boys and girls teams also traveled to Goa for the BFA Cup Tournament & the Girls’ team won the Runners up trophy (May 2022). Jyoti was adjudged player of the tournament for both events. Dinesh received the man of the match award at the BFA cup. Dinesh and Sunil received promising player awards in K.K Vithani Memorial Cup, Tejal won the best goal keeper and Manisha & Hasina received players of different match awards.
Basketball: 30 of our children are being trained under the BFA coaches. They will participate in future tournaments.
Karate: Mr. Vishvesh Dunakhe is coaching 20 of our children. They will be participating in testing for belt promotions and also in tournaments.
Skateboarding: A local group called FLO Skateboarding based out of Alembic City, Baroda host weekly classes on campus for 10 of our children.
Chess & Mallakhamb: 2 new initiatives that we are getting ready to start very soon in the 2022-2023 academic session.