She wakes up at daybreak and gets ready for the love of her life.
She carries a vintage duffle, filled with her cosmetics, one of her favorite cleats, a pair of socks, a towel and a jersey.
She tests her barriers of pain daily.
She puts in the effort required to stretch her limits, which with time makes pain languish, replacing it with an array of acumen and skill.
She puts in the hard work to live her dreams, her goals and ambitions.
She is no less than a man, caressing her brush daily, to paint her World.
The Indian Woman does not lag in the exhaustiveness, dexterity and finesse in any aspect of life, when juxtaposed against an Indian Man. Long gone are those days when Women were stereotyped with certain sects and the new India has embraced the empowerment of Women with open hearts leading the feminine to match the masculine in everything and anything, ranging from education to sports.
In football too, Indian Woman has been paired up in the same bracket as Men. And given the recent FIFA Rankings, football amongst Women seems to be on an upward surge whilst inspiring posterity and motivating the young crop.
Vanquishing are those days where Women would shy away from engaging in ‘the beautiful game’ – getting their cleats dirty – and with the turn of the millennium they have actively contributed to the Indian footballing cosmology; with few veterans acting as beacons of hope for the myriads of Women who now aspire to represent their country in football.
Three consecutive SAFF Championship Trophies with the most recent triumph coming in November 2014 and several other laurels such as clinching the 11th South Asian Games have only fuelled the fire of these hungry, ambitious and hardworking Women in Indian football, which intensifies with every passing moment.
Thus to impetus this growth, whilst empowering Women in the process by giving them the opportunity to train, play and perform, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) launches the first ever ‘Live Your Goals’ in accordance with FIFA. The Programme which acts as a catalyst to the outreach of Women’s Football, whilst fostering interest amongst the rest is set to kick-off at The Cooperage Ground, Mumbai on June 28, 2015.
The Programme will also tutor the current member of Indian Women’ National Team in Grassroots Leaders Course, enabling them to spray their expertise and nurture the young crop through Grassroots Football.
Talking exclusively to AIFF Media, the legendary Oinam Bembem Devi elucidates the ‘wind of change’ which is enveloping Women’s Football in India. “Women’s Football in India is on a rise and it is evident. These days Women stay aware of the Footballing World and that’s positive. They are the ones who tie their laces and come to play. We are undergoing a drastic positive change, we just need to acknowledge it and capitalize on it.”
“The FIFA Live Your Goals is a massive initiative by the AIFF to capitalize on this positive change and accelerate the growth of Women’s Football in general, whilst extending its outreach,” she adds.
Current captain of the Indian Women’s National Team, Bala Devi, seconds it to opine: “It is nice to see Women’s Football grow. It is always a most welcomed sight and this Course is set to cultivate posterity even more.”
The Women’s Football scenario in India has gone from strength to strength in recent times. And with the posterity ready to take up arms, ready to tie their cleats, ready to sweat, one can only fantasize about what the future hides in store.
(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)