Girls seen practicing football Credit: EastMojo Image

Kohima: With an aim to create awareness about gender equality and promote sports among women, a free football coaching camp is currently underway in Nagaland’s Phek district. Over 100 girls aged between 6-20 years are currently receiving training in this programme.

The free football training is being organised by the district administration and district-level centre for women (DLCW)-Mahila Shakti Kendra under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) and supported by the Nagaland Football Coaches Association (NFCA) and the District Executive Force (DEF) Phek.

Speaking with EastMojo, Vileno Kapu, the Phek district women welfare officer said that during the first day of the coaching which began on Tuesday, a total of 105 girls registered for the training. By Wednesday, the number increased to 120 as girls from the district showed interest in learning the sport.

She informed that although it was initially planned for girls between the age of 6-17, it increased the age category for children above 17 years as well. “This is a first of its kind initiative in the state under the Beti Bachao Beti Bachao initiative,” she said.

Girls undergo training in Phek

Daniel Rongmei, Coach Barack FC Junior Football Academy (AIFF ‘D’ License), who is among the eight coaches mentoring the players informed EastMojo that all protocols are being followed to ensure the safety of the players during the training sessions.

He said that the participants are taught batch wise—6-9years, 10 to 13 years, 14-16 years, and 17 and above. “We have lots of talents but no platform. This is a good opportunity for girls in rural areas to learn and be given a platform,” he said.

So far the trainings are concerned, he informed that the girls have been proactively participating, although there are challenges in teaching them. “I have been teaching boys and this is my first experience teaching girls and so it is a good learning experience for me,” he said.

Encouraging women to be on the front in every field including football, he said that other districts should also encourage girls to take up the sport. Boys are also been trained in the evening hours during the five-day camp.

Girls line up during the first day of the training

Kapu informed that awareness program or sensitization program on women Empowerment and women Centric Schemes in all subdivision/ blocks/ remotest villages have also been undertaken. The girls music band competition was also organized last year to empower the girl child by providing platform.

Amid the pandemic, virtual singing competition, online photography contest, baby show competition, art poster contest, video speech competition, webinar on entrepreneurship, talk show on making a career in Music industry were also undertaken. This is besides the skill development training in tailoring, food processing, and BBBP free breast cancer screening camp.

Eight coaches are currently training the participants

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