11 5 2013

OSCAR & SCORT – Hand in Hand for India’s Young Coaches

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Dr. Steve Tharakan is Development Manager at the Scort Foundation. He set up the Alliance‘s new project in Mumbai and now manages the year-long training programme. Ashok Rathod is the Founder and Director of OSCAR India Foundation (Organisation for Social Change, Awareness and Responsibility) and acts as main local partner organisation for Scort and The Football Club Social Alliance.

Learn more about Steve’s and Ashok’s close co-operation during this training programme:

Scort - The Football Club Social Alliance in India 2013-14 - Steve Ashok

Scort: Steve, a new coaching education programme here in Mumbai just started with 33 new Young Coaches. You developed and now manage the project. What had to be prepared beforehand so that these 33 young women and men can start their year-long training programme today?

Steve: “Many things had to be prepared but I will try to focus on the main aspects. The most important thing was to identify a main local partner, that supports us, is reliable, has experience, is dedicated and agrees on our education concept. We were happy to find this organisation in the OSCAR India Foundation. This was the most important thing and secondly, there was the process to identify all the participants of this coaching education programme because the success of the programme always depends on the participants. So through OSCAR and other local organisations we found 33 great Young Coaches. And, if I can add, the third really important thing was to find here in Mumbai a project location. This was very, very challenging and it took us some time. As we realised, this city is so packed with people and it is hard to find a spot where you don’t have to spend too much money for the location. So it was great to get the support from Don Bosco Mumbai who allows us to use their football pitch and seminar room for free and offers accommodation and meals for all Young Coaches.”

(c) Scort Don BoscoPerfect infrastructure for the training programme offered by Don Bosco School Mumbai

Ashok, how did you get in touch with Scort and why was this training programme of the “Football Club Social Alliance” of interest for your organisation?

Ashok: “I got a mail from the Scort Foundation that they are interested to work in Mumbai and implement a Young Coaches training with the Alliance. Immediately, I wrote an e-mail then and told them that they are invited to come and visit our programme because my young leaders, they need training so they build their capacities by profiting from a quality programme on the ground. Then Steve and Tanya (Scort Foundation), they both came and visited our programme and saw our work and then they wrote the e-mail that they are looking for a local partner here in Mumbai and asked if OSCAR wants to become a main partner. Afterwards I had a long discussion with my UK trustees. Initially I was not sure about becoming the main local partner because I did not know how much time I have to spend on this. Our staff and capacities are limited and I was also thinking about financial things. Then my UK trustees send an e-mail to Scort with different questions and Steve and Marc (Scort Foundation) gave very clear answers to the critical questions. And then my UK trustees suggested me that this could be a really good opportunity and to go ahead with this. And then I said, yes, we want to do this. And now in the first module I realised that this is very helpful for OSCAR, the young leaders and also for the other local partners.”

Steve, I know that you talked with different potential partners during the project preparation phase. Why was OSCAR selected as main local partner in the end?

Steve: “OSCAR is a member of the streetfooballworld network and Scort is an affiliate partner of streetfootballworld that’s how I first came across OSCAR. I remember when we  were talking to you Ashok and when we were sitting in OSCAR’s office in the Ambedkar Nagar Slum and when we were listing to what you are doing we were really impressed. We read a lot beforehand but then when we met you in person we felt your energy, passion, dedication. So for me the OSCAR Foundation represented the ideal organisation. So the question for us was if OSCAR can implement the programme because we knew that you are a small organisation with only few full time employees. It was important to assess if OSCAR would be able to meet our and the football clubs’ expectations. But then you put lots of energy into the preparation and you set up this partnership with Don Bosco, then it was clear that we can do it together. Because infrastructure was really a crucial point and through Don Bosco you managed to organise a seminar room, pitches and also accommodation for all Young Coaches.”

Ashok, what is your organisation’s role within this project?

Ashok: “OSCAR’s role mainly is to coordinate with the local partners and to identify the Young Coaches who need this training and who can implement activities with younger underprivileged children. We identified them and coordinated them, finalised accommodation, grounds, communication etc. So we prepared everything that this training could be staged in Mumbai. And my organisation also contributes to the training programme – we just staged a workshop on women empowerment and also bring in our knowledge from our field work. In this we are more experienced as local partners then the football club instructors coming over from Europe”

Steve, you also involved further organisations than OSCAR in this project. Which organisations are these and what is their role?

Steve: “Besides OSCAR we also partner with the Leher Foundation, Magic Bus, SOS Children’s Village Alibaug and Bhopal, Jeet Foundation, Rahee Foundation and Colaba Municipal Secondary School in this project. I actually just spoke with Ashok about this before. We strongly believe that it is good to mix organisations for two reasons. On the one hand, it is good that the organisations can interact during the project and on the other hand, also the participants from the different organisations can exchange, learn from each other and also support each other. So for us it is always important to choose different organisations as partners so that the multiplier effect and impact of the project is even stronger.”

Scort - The Football Club Social Alliance in India 2013-14 - Module 1 (14)

Scort - The Football Club Social Alliance in India 2013-14 - Module 1 (29)

The participants were selected by 7 different Indian NGOs and will be trained as grassroots football coaches, role models and social workers

Ashok: “It was good to mix seven organisations because they can learn from each other. Every organisation has a different experience and they can help each other.”

Steve: “Yes, and we have established organisations in the project like Magic Bus as well as some upcoming “stars” so that guarantees an interesting mix. And through this programme and the co-operation with the other organisations in this programme the smaller organisations have a great chance to develop.”

Ashok, Steve said that the local partners chose the participants of the programme – the so called Young Coaches. You coordinated this selection process. Who did you chose as participants in cooperation with the other organisations and why?

Ashok: “We chose those organisations as further partners who are actually working on the ground to give them a chance for their staff with this training programme. Through this training more quality will come into the programmes and the children will profit in the end. The organisations are also active in different parts of Mumbai and also in remote areas outside the city and in other parts of the country.”

Ashok, I guess you know many more people you could have selected for the programme. Why did you select these 33 Young Coaches?

Ashok: “I asked each organisation to send those coaches who need further education, who take initiative and who need one further step in their work. Each organisation has a very qualified coordinator and they again coordinated within their organisation to find the best suited ones.”

 Steve, I can see 33 Young Coaches on the pitch and I also see instructors of Queens Park Rangers FC (QPR) and the German Bundesliga Club Bayer 04 Leverkusen among them. What’s going on for the next 12 months during this project?

Steve: “Hopefully a lot of interaction. After this first project days I’m very happy. I really love the set up of this programme. There are so many different stakeholders involved and so many different persons taking part in the programme. They will all get closer and closer to each other during the next 12 months in the programme. It’s great to have our new partner QPR with us for the first time and it is great how they work with the Young Coaches and also how they cooperate with the Bayer 04 Leverkusen instructors. It is great to see how the clubs get involved in such a social project which is somehow different from their work back home and it is also great to see how the Young Coaches see them as role models. They try to absorb every single word and copy every action they see. So there will be a lot of interaction going on between all the partners and persons involved in this project during the next 4 modules. And I am convinced that also after the 12 months the Young Coaches will continue to co-operate with each other and to use their new skills and knowhow with the groups of underprivileged children in a sustainable way.”

Scort - The Football Club Social Alliance in India 2013-14 - Module 1 (111)

Instructors from Queens Park Rangers FC (England) and Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Germany) travel to Mumbai 4 times within 12 months and conduct the coaching education programme for the 33 Young Coaches

Ashok, the clubs will come back three more times within the next year. But what will be happening between the modules when the club instructors are not here?

Ashok: “We keep continuing to be in touch with the Young Coaches. We will see how they implement what they have learned and we will ask them in how far this training has been useful and what challenges and problems they are facing. We will check on the learning effect and how they implement activities. We will also check how they connect with other Young Coaches of this programmes, these are all things we will do until the next module.”

Scort - The Football Club Social Alliance in India 2013-14 - Module 1 (151)

Last question, Steve, what is more challenging – the project development or the project implementation?

Steve: “Ha, I think for me, project development, because for the project implementation I can rely 100% on the OSCAR India Foundation.

(both laughing)

Last question, Ashok, what do you think will be the biggest challenge within the next 12 months?

Ashok: “I think the coordination with all Young Coaches but hey, we can do it, we can definitely do it – no problem!”

(both laughing again)


Interested in further details about Ashok and OSCAR?

“Founder and Director Ashok Rathod grew up in the area and witnessed many of his friends and classmates engaging in negative behaviours. However, his father convinced him that it was important to stay in school and to continue his education. Ashok began playing football and volunteering at Magic Bus, another streetfootballworld network member in India, and later worked as one of the organisation’s youth mentors. In 2006, at the age of 18, he founded OSCAR and began hosting regular football games for boys that agreed to stay in school…” (streetfootballworld magazine “Global Team Talk – Notes from the network”, streetfootballworld/docs/globalteamtalk)


The Football Club Social Alliance – Project India

Pictures from the Education in Mumbai

6 comments to “OSCAR & SCORT – Hand in Hand for India’s Young Coaches”

  1. DEEPAK RAWAT sagt:

    HI sir iam very keen to join your program as a football coach

  2. [...] It was a great learning experience not only for the coaches but also for Dan. To find out more about the week’s course and the year long programme click here [...]

  3. Ashok Rathod sagt:

    I really enjoyed and learnt manythings from Scort Foundation and through The Football Club of Social Alliance training. All the local paters young Coaches are very happy to be part of this program. Looking forward to see you in Feb 2014.

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