The city has a batch of young girls dedicated to the game of football. SUMEDHA SHARMA hits the field with them.
Ready to strike!
Khushbu, 15, Class XII, GMSSS-21
I started playing at a very early age. I give all the credit to my coaches who saw the potential in me and also motivated me to contribute my bit to the team. Initially, it was difficult to convince my parents that I could manage my sports and education at the same time. The biggest challenge I faced in the initial years was to get into the team. In my first match, I was an extra. It made me determined to make space for myself. Regular practice has made me what I am today. Football has provided me balance, which is vital for a successful and happy life.
Goals and achievements
I have played at the national level eleven times. All these matches have been golden chances for me because each time I improved upon my performance. I don't have a lot of medals but every match teaches me to come back better prepared to try and win the gold. Our team bagged a bronze in 2015-16. I want to carry on playing football career , so that I get a chance to be part of India’s football team.
A surgeon and footballer
Ananya Biswal, Class X, St. Stephen’s
Football is the love of my life, and all that I have achieved is only because of this game. It has not only shaped me but it has shown me a new direction. I started playing football when I was just nine. Over time, I improved my game, and now I breathe football. This game is also a great stress-buster. The disciplined life that I lead is only because of my involvement wit this sport. My parents have been my pillars of support throughout my journey, and my mom takes care of my diet so that I remain physically fit.
I have played four nationals in which we won two golds in 2016 and 2017. I still remember my performance and the time we scored the last goal and won the match. The memory still gives me goosebumps. I want to continue my football career but at the same time, I will study hard to fulfill my dream of becoming a surgeon.
In the mid field
Gunpreet Kaur, Class X, GMSSC-22
My football journey started five years back when I was all of nine. When I started playing football, the biggest challenge I faced was my fitness level, because it is a game which requires a lot of running, which is not very easy in the initial days. My parents have been very supportive of my football career. In fact, sometimes they are more excited than me, so I not only perform well but make sure I represent India at the national and international level. Football not only teaches you how to be quick on your feet, it also helps you become mentally agile and strong.
I am greatly inspired by Ronaldo.
Goals and Achievements
I have played five nationals in which our team won two golds. The lure of success makes me work harder to perform well so that each time our team plays on any platform, we not only win but also give strong competition.
Bhoomika, Class X, St. Stephen’s
I was in second standard when I took to football. The only person I look up to when I think of football is my super dad, who is also a football player and now a coach. Football is in my genes. I am gifted with an extraordinarily supportive family who have given me wings to fly high. The game of football has taught me to perform all my tasks with focus and perfection. I complete my homework and assignments with great speed. I have also learnt to dance and sing. And I love playing the goalkeeper of my team. I am a great fan of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who is an excellent player.
Goals and Achievements
Achievements and hard work go hand in hand. Our team won the gold in the Manipur nationals, which is the biggest achievement of my life. I am very confident about my career as a football player. I want to make it to the top and make Indian team the world’s best women’s football team.
Live the football life
Akshara Rai, Class X, St. Stephen’s
I started playing when I was in third standard. I come from a sporting family, and my father is a cricket coach who always wanted to see me excelling in the field of football. He has always taught me to play strong and keep my spirits high. Football influences all spheres of my life. In fact, I live life in terms of football rules. If you strike at the right time, don't miss a goal ever, and run after your goals, you will always be a winner in your life. I am a great fan of
Ronaldo and Messi.
Goals and achievements.
I have a short and sweet journey if I talk about my achievements in football. I won a gold in my third nationals in Manipur. It’s an unforgettable moment of my life. I still tear up when I think of that victory. I want to make football as my full-time career.