Delhi Dynamos, Football Delhi host first-ever league for U-13 girls
In a bid to galvanize women’s football in India, the National Alliance for Women’s Football in India has been set up by CEQUIN, an NGO that promotes gender equality. CEQUIN has partnered with alliance members Football Delhi (the State Association) and Delhi Dynamos FC, to address the dearth of opportunities for young school girls to play football competitively at the Delhi state level.
The first edition of the Under-13 School League has been organized with the enthusiastic participation of 32 school teams. 10 of these teams are from government schools (who have been trained by CEQUIN), while the rest are from private schools, making this a truly inclusive initiative. The league will feature a total of 384 players divided into 4 zones. Prominent schools have come forward to support as venue partners, including Sanskriti School, Tagore International School and Maharaja Aggarsain Adarsh Public School. A total of seven match days, spread across 1 month will be conducted within the school premises of the partner schools. Top two teams from each group will play the quarterfinal matches and the grand finale is scheduled to be held at the Ambedkar Stadium, Delhi in February. Talent scouting will be done by Football Delhi for their Excellence Academy, with a view to honing potential talent.
This initiative is one of the several strategies being planned by the National Alliance for Women’s Football in India in keeping with its Mission 2030 to bring Indian Women’s Football to the global stage.
According to Sara Abdullah Pilot, Chairperson, CEQUIN, and Chairperson of the Women’s Committee at the AIFF, “by promoting football for girls we are shattering gender stereotypes, bringing girls out of their homes and building their leadership. The growing popularity of women’s football across the globe presents an exciting possibility to kick start equality and bridge the gap of gender inequality.”
Ashish Shah, CEO, Delhi Dynamos, says, “Delhi Dynamos has always been a big advocate of inclusivity in sport and we are glad to be joining hands with CEQUIN and Football Delhi for this exciting and unique initiative. Together we hope to provide a strong platform for these young girls in the field of football and may it be the stepping stone they need to excel in football.”
“It is critical for girls to have an early start in competitive playing if we really want to see success. The format of this league has given an excellent opportunity to scout talent at an early stage. I hope we will be able to sustain and build on these efforts,” feels Shaji Prabhakaran, President Football Delhi.