Even though one team picked up the trophy, it was a win-win for all, in the most unique game of soccer, as corporate teams battled it out with children from slum communities. It was the second edition of ‘Soccer for Child Rights’ tournament organized by CRY – Child Rights and You and its partner SCSTEDS (Slum Children Sports Talent Education Development Society), held at Hennur. Northern Trust lifted the trophy, while Oracle were the runners up. Noted cricket star K L Rahul supported the initiative.
The tournament, supported by Shankara Building Products Limited, Trip XOXO, Geberit India, Genius Consultants Ltd., Marks & Spencer and Auto Allot, provided a level playing field where the children taught soccer tactics to the opponent Corporate teams while the Corporates inspired and supported them to finish their education. 23 corporate Men’s teams and 2 Women’s Team including Bosch, Flipkart, Microland, Redbus, Synopsys, Oracle, Mercedes, Brandnomer, Digical, Target, Northern Trust participated in the tournament playing against the teams from SCSTEDS.
Speaking at the event, Suma Ravi, Regional Director (South), CRY, said, “Soccer for Child Rights stemmed from the thought of providing a platform for children of slum communities and corporate honchos to draw inspiration from each other while engaging in a fun game of football. The initiative since then has grown leaps and bounds, with overwhelming participation and relentlessly growing enthusiasm from children and more corporates to participate in this tournament.”
“Sports has been effectively used as a medium of empowerment by our partner project SCSTEDS and we have witnessed transformational change in children, who are inspired to finish their schooling and take up challenges for a better future”, she added.
The event also serves to sensitize corporates and the larger populace on the situation of the children in the slums. Further, the event serves as an opportunity for corporates to expose their employees to community work; with can be followed up by enrolling as a volunteer at CRY.
In support of the initiative in the city, Mr. Sukumar Srinivas, Managing Director, Shankara Building Products Limited said, “We at Shankara believe in equal opportunity for one and all, and so does CRY. We are proud to be associated with Soccer for Child Rights. I am sure these steps will bring sustainable change in the lives of several thousand children by providing them a platform like never before.”
Mr. R P Yadav, CMD at Genius Consultants added, “We at Genius Consultants Ltd. want to spread happiness and growth among the deserving children and we are doing so by partnering for “Soccer for Child Rights” event.”
The event has, over the years, proved to be more than just a game of football. Transformational change has been witnessed in children and in communities, wherein children are inspired to finish their schooling, get off child labour and take up challenges for a better future. The positive influence that the project has had on children is evident in the fact that many of them have played in various district, state, national and even international tournaments.