02 12 2014

Taking in – Taking back: Mumbai II

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February 6 to 9, 2014, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Queens Park Rangers FC continued The Football Club Social Alliance (FCSA) education programme in Mumbai. Four intensive training days in India’s mega-city have left the participating Young Coaches as well as the club instructors with important new knowledge and valuable life experiences.

(c) Scort - The Football Club Social Alliance - India Day 1 (28)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen instructors Peter Quast (right) and Jörg Kappenhagen (left) in a round with Young Coaches

Every morning, the Bayer 04 and QPR instructors drove on a busy, packed and dusty road to reach the Don Bosco school ground in Mumbai, where they delivered the 2nd module of The Football Club Social Alliance training course. The street partly led through Dharavi, the 2nd biggest slum in Asia. The instructor’s car squeezed through the dense and chaotic traffic of buses, cars, three wheelers, bikes and people. It moved along uncovered drains full of human waste and an endless wall of deteriorated, narrow houses and sheds. The people in slums live in cramped housing and poor hygienic conditions. In some places, over 1000 people are forced to share one single communal toilet. The majority of the Mumbaikars battle harsh poverty, however, the vibrant mega-city offers even the poorest the possibility to find a way to earn money and to survive. Most have a very good business sense and are busy as bees, making Mumbai’s streets bustling at all times.


A view on the way through Dhavari, the biggest slum in Mumbai

When leaving behind the physical chaos of the city’s traffic and arriving at Don Bosco school ground with its vast sports field, the Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Queens Park Rangers FC instructors entered an oasis of space and tranquillity. The school’s infrastructure was ideal to conduct the training course and could even host the 33 young women and men participating in the programme. They come from Mumbai and other Indian states and most of them live themselves in slums as well as in the remote poor rural areas where they work with underprivileged kids. Through the Alliance’ education programme they obtain further tools to offer the girls and boys of their communities sports, play and fun sessions. They also learn to use football to teach them social values like team spirit and cooperation as well as life skills and knowledge about preserving good health or about their rights as children.

Taking in

The Alliance project in Mumbai was successfully kicked-off in October 2013. During the 2nd education module last week, the instructors have now deepened the Young Coaches’ basic football and coaching skills learned last year. In addition, Young Coach Parvati shared her experience in teaching life-skills and conducted a workshop about health, hygiene and the children’s right to education.

The Young Coaches especially appreciated the theoretical and practical sessions about planning football trainings for children. “It was very good for us to learn how to plan the practical sessions we do with the kids”, explained Young Coach Gaurang. „Planning is a new idea, before we went directly to the field and gave the sessions. Now, we have learned to take time before and prepare and plan the warm up, main part, progression and the ending. This is very important knowledge. We can improve our work with the children.”


QPR instructor Martino Chevannes (4th left) teaching the Young Coaches

During the 2nd education module, the Young Coaches immediately applied their newly acquired knowledge of how to plan and structure a coaching session. On the 2nd and 4th training day the instructors gave them the task to organise a football session for over 80 children, which was also challenging for the Young Coaches with a lot of coaching experience. They found it demanding to handle a great amount of children, managing well the activities which lasted 15 minutes exactly, changing and adapting them several times to the children’s age varying from 5 to 14 years. The very experienced Young Coaches additionally gained knowledge in event management by taking up coordinating roles. “In the 2nd module we have started to divide the tasks and roles in a big training session and I got the chance to coordinate everything and also manage the time. So I got new skills which are really helpful for my work with younger coaches”, explained Gaurang who has been coaching grassroots football for several years before joining the Alliance’ education programme. Amruta, Young Coach and physical education teacher, found that learning to increase the level of difficulty in the exercises was a highlight. „It was a new and very good experience to learn about progression and to plan the exercises going from easy to more difficult. I will also use it in my sports lessons at work.”

(c) Scort - The Football Club Social Alliance - India - Module 2 - Day 2 (3)

Young Coach excercising with a group of kids

Taking back

For the four instructors of Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Queens Park Rangers FC it was not only important to well deliver the various workshops and teaching the Young Coaches football and social skills. They also wanted to motivate and inspire them to become true role models for children and confident leaders in their community. At the end of the 2nd education module they were very happy with the learning and personal progress of the Young Coaches:

“Having seen them particularly working with the young kids yesterday, I thought they were excellent. Their ability to kind of motivate and enthuse the kids they are working with was actually superb. They were really well organised and able to manage large numbers of kids which was great.” (Jesse Foyle, instructor Queens Park Rangers FC)

„The development of the Young Coaches and the excellence implementation of the training sessions with the children make us proud of them. They have made a huge step forward in terms of autonomy.” (Peter Quast, instructor Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

“In the second module I’ve been extremely impressed how everybody’s level of coaching has progressed. The ones that kind of stood back in the previous module now really came out of their shell.” (Martino Chevannes, instructor Queens Park Rangers FC)

“Through the modules and our teaching, the Young Coaches are improving their self-image and attitude to stand in front of groups. They develop strengths that they didn’t even think of.“ (Jörg Kappenhagen, instructor Bayer 04 Leverkusen)

(c) Scort - The Football Club Social Alliance - India - Module 2 - Day 2 (4)

The Young Coaches made an incredible job during the 2nd module

On Sunday, February 9, 2014 the instructors drove back to the hotel and later to the airport to return to Europe – again along the houses of Dharavi slum. Their relation to Mumbai and the people had changed in many ways since their arrival. They took numerous lasting impressions, positive memories as well as new ideas back home. They said it had also been a learning experience for them, firstly, by meeting up with coaches from other countries and sharing ideas, and secondly, by working with the Young Coaches. “I found it so rewarding and fulfilling to see how appreciative the Young Coaches are of what we are doing and trying to support them. It’s a two-way learning. It’s not just about us teaching them. They are teaching us a lot. I learned so much about Mumbai, the young people, by listening to their stories. Some of them are quite hard hitting but everybody is telling them with a smile on their face and with enthusiasm to learn and do better and inspire change in their communities.”

Pictures of the education modules  on Facebook and Flickr

Young Coaches sights

1 comment to “Taking in – Taking back: Mumbai II”

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