It is the combination of a dream and hard work that eventually fuels the way to the stars. Navnita, Manoj, Harshitha, and Arbaz are such dreamers, who will be able to take their talent to new heights through hard work and determination. These four talented young football players from vulnerable backgrounds have put tremendous efforts to be a part of the Street Football World Festival, an official event of Euro 2016 held in Lyon, France in June 2016.
For the first time, the EURO 2016 will host the Street Football Festival to celebrate and raise awareness of the role of football in changing lives of young people. The festival will include participants from low-income communities and have over 500 girls and boys from across the globe. The participants are chosen not on the basis of their skills but for their commitment to change the world through football.
The quartet gets a chance to play in mixed teams, interact with players across the globe, mingle with other cultures and channel their experiences to local communities.
The chosen squad
Bengaluru-based teenagers, Navnita, Manoj, Harshitha and Arbaz, whose parents can barely make ends meet, are on cloud nine and absolutely thrilled to have the chance to travel all the way to France to strut their skills. Their passion for football inclined them towards working hard for achieving their goals through dedication and determination. Dream a Dream through its after school program has provided a lifetime opportunity to these four children to help realise their goals.
“It’s a dream come true.” – Navnita
Navnita, a class 9 student at Shubhodini English High School started playing football when she was introduced to Dream a Dream after school programme. It was when Navnita’s instructor mentioned about the Street Football Festival that she started training even harder to take part in the event.
Her favourite football player is Ronaldinho and she likes him because of the extraordinary skills that he brings to the field. Navnita dreams of becoming a pilot-engineer.
“Proud to be representing my country.” – Manoj
Manoj is currently studying in standard 10 and has been playing football for 4 years. It wasn’t easy initially as he struggled to control the ball but with training and hard work, he grew into it.
Applying his new-found soft-skills off the field, he found a tremendous improvement in his concentration and reading skills. Along with being a fan of the Liverpool FC, this young boy likes car racing and adores Michael Schumacher.
“Want to be an inspiration to other girls.” - Harshitha
Harshitha, a Stella Mary’s student, wants to be an inspiration to other girls so that they could express themselves with football. Harshitha finds herself lucky having the constant support and encouragement of her mother. This Ronaldinho fan can’t contain her excitement to go to France.
“Football teaches discipline” – Arbaz
15-year-old Arbaz Pasha loves cricket and football. He began playing five years ago, but it wasn’t until his coach’s guidance he took it seriously. He believes that apart from discipline the game has taught him to be positive in life. He aspires to become a police officer.
About “Dream a Dream”
Organizations such as Dream a Dream leverage after school art and sports programs to help children develop life skills enhance youth’s ability to gain and retain employment. Dream a Dream is a charitable organisation that helps in the development of young children from vulnerable backgrounds and helps them overcome adversity.
The Bengaluru-based non-profit has engaged over 8000 children through its After School Life Skills Program. Dream a Dream has helped boost creative skills through a unique life skills development model. They are raising funds for these children on Impact Guru, a social fundraising platform.You too can show your support here.