Like in many parts of the world, football is one of the most captivating sports in the hills of Kalimpong. Every child has played football once during their childhood but due to lack of proper guidance and motivation, many of them are unable to pursue their goal in the field of sports. Especially during the COVID19 lockdown the children were not able to go to school and play their loved sports with their friends. The former GFF Helps India International Volunteer in 2018, Mr. Joe Fisher took the initiative to teach some online lessons of football to the underprivileged children of Kalimpong keeping in mind the level of interest they showed while he worked in those villages. Even after the completion of the session, Joe has been constantly engaging with the participants by sending videos and reading materials on football through the Whatsapp group.
The idea behind Online Football Coaching Sessions was not only to encourage and provide children with adequate knowledge about football but also to keep these children active physically and mentally during the pandemic. The focus was given to children of age group 12-18 years. Taking advantage of Zoom as the communication platform, the online session began on 16th July 2020, followed by weekly sessions on Thursdays. The children were also given homework after every session so that they could practice the techniques taught. Some of the links for Joe’s homework tutorial videos include Week 2: Passing & Week 4 Homework. Another 2 sessions were conducted by Mr. Supreet Raj Pradhan who is a former football player and a coach in Delhi, India. The last session was conducted on 27th August by Mr. Chandan Thapa a footballer and fitness expert from Manipur, India. There were 40 participants from Chibbo, Bong and Pudung villages who actively participated in the coaching sessions. GFF Helps provided them with certificates and prizes at the end of the session. The Cluny SOGG Open Learning Centres volunteered to help us organise this meaningful workshop.
One of the participants Mr. Aven Rai from Bong Busty said
“Thank you GFF Helps and Mr. Joe for giving me this opportunity to learn new techniques of football, now I can apply those techniques and improve my game”.