It’s girl power the whole 22 yards


photo: city air news

City’s only All-girl rubber ball cricket tournament for BMC schools opens new avenues for girls hoping to pursue competitive sport
Mumbai, January 6, 2017: As Aamir Khan’s Dangal swept the nation off its feet, in a fortuitous turn of events, it has also turned the spotlight on for women’s wrestling. But for a nation that basks in the glory of its obsession for cricket, female players in that sport are still working on their game albeit away from the limelight.

On Friday, at Dongri Muncipal School, a cricket tournament set out to change this by taking giant strides to help girls in the age group of 11 to 15 studying in Mumbai's BMC schools make it big in the sport that the nation considers no less than religion. The event was the 9th ‘All-girl rubber ball cricket tournament’ held for students from BMC schools in the city. The only tournament of its kind held in the city, the All-girl rubber ball cricket tournament is being organised jointly by NGO Salaam Bombay Foundation and the BMC since 2008.

The tournament was started mainly to encourage girls from underprivileged backgrounds who study in BMC schools to participate in and take up competitive sport. In a country where women are more familiar with wielding the broom or belan, their opportunity to participate in even simple school games is non-existent. They are also deprived of the many benefits of sports -- life skills such as leadership, team work, confidence building and discipline. Not to forget the physical benefits.

The Salaam Bombay Foundation Cricket Academy aims to change this by giving girls studying in the city’s BMC schools the chance to learn a sport like cricket, display their talent and pursue a vocational opportunity that they had no access to before. This is also probably the first time many of them have got a chance to express themselves in a unique manner and to carve out their personal identities.

Says Tanisha Khan, one of the participants “This is a unique experience for me. The challenges I face have made me even more determined to learn and play the game. I believe girls can perform as well as boys if given the chance”.

Explaining the motive behind organising the unique tournament, Devika Chadha, VP, Sports, Salaam Bombay Foundation, said, “Most of these girls would have not even dreamt of holding a cricket bat, leave alone actually playing the game. This is a great platform for them to show what they are capable of. They also make excellent role models for others in their community.”

Friday, January 6, 2017