16 November 2017

On 12th November 2016, the ‘Girls play, Girls Lead’ Edu-Football & Kabaddi League Festival (EFL) kicked off at the YFC Stadium in Rurka Kalan, India.

 

EFL is an annual event that is held for 2-3 months and is a combination of sporting competitions and educational workshops. The event began as a way of providing opportunities to children in the U-12 age group who couldn’t otherwise participate in any tournaments or competitions.  Since the first kick off, the Edu-Football and Kabbadi League has grown to include children of other age groups and sports. Today, the event hosts more than 100 football and kabbadi (a contact sport originated in Tamilnadu) matches; and the educational workshops provided alongside give children the chance to also learn through arts and crafts, theatre and S4D activities.

 

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN

 

With a population of approximately 15,000 people the village of Rurka Kalan is situated in the Jalandhar district of Punjab. With an increasing rate of drugs usage amongst youth of the village and its surrounding areas Gurmangal Dass, a resident of the village, decided to form a football club to combat drug abuse by offering livelihood opportunities to underprivileged children and youth in 2001.

 

Today, YFC is a grassroots organisation that works in the areas of Sports, Sports for Development, Youth Development, Health, Education, and Skill Development. YFC works with more than 4000 children and youth in over 40 villages of Punjab. Originally starting as a football club, the YFC progressed to be an organisation integrated into the community that offers an array of sports-based programmes, computer training, therapy & special education and physiotherapy.  

 

WHAT IS TO COME

 

This year, the theme of the EFL is “Girls Play, Girls Lead” and girls’ teams from across India are participating in the tournament.  During the first part of the event the girls’ football tournament with Sports for Development Workshops will take place, in the second phase, more than 1000 female beneficiaries of YFC will participate in tournament activities and the third phase will see all other beneficiaries, more than 1500 children joining the event.  EFL is set to stage more than 100 football and kabaddi matches over a period of 3 months.