During their visit, the England players discussed both the game and their lives and backgrounds with the children. They exhibited their training methods and wowed the kids with their soccer skills. In friendly play, they also gave invaluable tips to the budding Kolkata junior players on all aspects of the game.
The children felt lucky to meet and play with the Young Lions who came as part of two UK-supported projects that utilised football and sports to empower young people especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds and communities. Many of the children came from the Kolkata Goalz programme - a Premier Skills project which helped build positive relationships between young people in high deprivation areas and the local authorities through sport. The project was led by the British Council and the Kolkata Police with inputs from the Premier League in the UK.
Some of the children came from the British Council’s ‘DOSTI Sports for Peace’ programme which used community sport and a series of social development modules to engage young people living in disadvantaged communities and deliver positive and effective changes in their behaviour and lifestyle. One of the partner institutions which delivered the DOSTI programme in India was Durbar.
Both girls and boys football teams from the Newtown School also met and played with the England squad.
British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata Bruce Bucknell welcomed the England Under-17’s community outreach programme in Kolkata.
I am delighted that the England players have taken time to meet so many children from Kolkata. Sport brings people together and helps build communities.
I am sure through this interaction with the England players the children here today will feel more confident about themselves and their game.
Kolkata Goalz is a Premier Skills project that helped build positive relationships between young people in high deprivation areas and the local authorities through sports. From July 2011 to July 2016 it was operational in 12 venues across Kolkata, covering 24 police station jurisdictions and reaching out to 1400 young people (both boys and girls) between the ages of 12 to 18. The programme involved weekly football training sessions and other physical and educational activities, including English teaching delivered by the British Council and participation in tournaments, athletics and cultural events. The project was led by the British Council and the Kolkata Police with inputs from the Premier League in the UK.
The British Council’s DOSTI Sports for Peace Programme used community sport and a series of social development modules to engage young people living in disadvantaged communities and deliver positive and effective changes in their behaviour and lifestyle. One of the partner institutions which delivered the DOSTI Programme in India was Durbar who work with children of sex workers through sport as they believe this is one of the best ways to integrate them into mainstream society.
For the year 2016-17, the Newtown School has been awarded with the British Council’s International School Award, a global benchmarking scheme that recognises and celebrates exemplary practices of internationalism in schools.
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