The first, sweet taste of football



Innocence breeds creativity, and the joy in the eyes of eighth-grade student Taslim Junejo says it all when she, along with 200 other children, played football for the first time in Majid Kerio’s village.

Football is probably the most watched and loved sport in the world, but children and even adults from the Sakrand taluka, including Taslim, are not included.

“I like it, it’s so easy, I’ve never seen it before. I love the feeling of football in my legs,” Taslim told The Express Tribune with a smile on his face, warm-up exercises. Good season and the first taste of kicking football.

“I only knew very little about cricket,” she admits. Were watching

Taslim was dressed in blue and red and wore fake glasses with shoes that were not meant to be used for any sport. In fact, he was wearing sandals, but this is the case with most of the children seen in Sakrand Taluka on November 13.

This was the first time that teachers of Syed Imdad Muhammad Shah (SIMS) English Medium Elementary School organized by Imdad Foundation along with students of two other schools saw this beautiful game.

The move was the result of FC and Sims School Director Tabassum Khoso, who came up with the idea of ​​empowering girls and women and launching a sports and life skills program aimed at shaping an academy for Majeed Kerio’s children. To adopt Union Council.

It aims to build a community that empowers young people who have access and resources to survive in a world beyond Scranton, where solar panels can be seen in every street and field.

In every way, women’s football is taking root in Sindh and especially now in Majeed Kerio.

Before the unfortunate Saturday, he had never touched the ball, never knew what “one touch and kick” meant.

Mothers looked at their daughters and sons as they tried to figure out what the game was all about.

“What if my daughter plays football?” Taslim’s mother Naseem Khatun asked curiously and admitted that it was all up to her husband to decide if there should be football in his house or not. At the same time, Taslim looked at the query, “What if I play football? Will it change my life? “

Starting a revolution

The excitement of the confession was to be seen with the boys, including the other children. Menghi was standing with Naseem Khatun, a woman who was on the ground with her sons, hoping to see her boys controlling the field.

“I’ve never seen anything like football before, but maybe my son will be good at it,” Menghi said. She wants her children to play, but she does not want her daughters to be on the ground. That is the challenge that Khoso and his team, as well as the school’s chairman, Professor Inam Bhatti, and teachers Rimsha Kerio and Sanam Baloch will have to face.

The inaugural session of the program, in which Taslim was with the other girls, was a success, but also a challenge. Taslim and his sister were not around during the evening session.

“We need to convince the parents,” says Khoso as Dia FC founder Sadia Sheikh, her coach Naila Sheikh and Pakistan’s junior international players Zaneera Shah and Maryam Zehri were training the children during the first session. I selected talented people. And using the equipment provided by Right to Play

Participants had to pay a small fee to register for the program, but most Sheikhs said that talented players should be supported in every way.

“We need families to explain that, and that’s the change we need to see, the change that we need to make. We can’t just force them to send girls to Earth. We need to show that they can trust us and that football is a way to learn life skills.

“Girls in our villages and their role is determined by the fact that they need to get married, which is a very traditional and limited style there. We need to change that and that is possible with football,” Khoso said. That said, as Bhatti tried to convince the crowd at the inauguration that he wanted to see Majeed Kerio and Nawabshah’s girls and boys play football at the international level.

The battle for Sheikh is to build trust in children, especially girls. “I try to encourage girls more because in society parents have no problem investing money and resources in talking to boys, but when it comes to girls, they back off. In Majid Kerio, The goal is to give that confidence to the kids, especially the girls. In fact, I have seen the talent here, there is a lot of potential and we can have players for our team to play abroad from here, just like we have Thar. Had girls.

“At the end of the day, these kids deserve a good story that they can hear and remember and experience so that the next generation, who will come after them, will be impressed. I need to provide an opportunity to set an example.

Sheikh added that where girls need care, boys also lack self-confidence during the first weekend of the program, so the initial sessions should be dedicated to playing freely and without fear on the field. Will, but with awareness.

In Sindh, most of the players come from Karachi and the cultural differences in sports are obvious, but Nawabshah’s villages lack infrastructure and skills. However, he compensated with enthusiasm and curiosity.

“I’m excited and I’m amazed at football,” said Laila Jalbani, who holds a master’s degree in chemical engineering and now teaches at the Sindh Education Foundation School.

“I’ve never played a game before. I only knew about cricket, but I’m amazed. I really love the game,” he added.

Like her, Sanam Baloch has shown immense potential despite never playing football before, and as a teacher she feels she can motivate her students to excel in sports.

“I like athletic activities. I run fast and I think I’m good at cricket, but football is definitely a more exciting sport for me because I’m exploring it,” said Baloch. Sims has been part of the school, which is run only by female staff. .

But with a new game, Zehri feels the second week of World Children’s Day is looking better.

“I am delighted to see that the participants, especially the children, now understand the terms and even our language as we move into the second week. I am having a great time playing and teaching them. The Pakistan junior player said that his aim was to bring out more footballing talent from Nawabshah which could redefine the meaning of life, education and sports for the youth and further diversify at the national level. A pool of players who can represent the country in the future.

“But Taslim did not make it to the training session after the first day,” Zehri said, confirming that playing the game is a right that is denied on many levels, but that collective effort can make a difference.

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