End of the first course at the residential football academy for women created in India by La Liga

Over the past few years, there has been an exponential growth in interest in football among girls and women in rural India. As a result, different projects are springing up that aim to increase opportunities for sports development, as well as promote possible future employment options in the football industry, given the increase in the number of leagues being created in recent years. last years.

One such project is the residential academy for girls who participate in activities organized by the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, through the Rural Development Trust (RDT), and La Liga, through its Women’s Football Department and Foundation. The academy recently completed its first course, with a total of 20 girls under the age of 15 from rural communities in Anantapur receiving a one-year financial and training scholarship to live and train at the sports village facilities. of Anantapur (ASV).

The residential academy offers them the opportunity to improve their skills and contribute to their personal development, as well as giving girls the opportunity to pursue their dream of playing football at a higher level and have the opportunity to continue their career in sports. Thanks to this project, the girls concerned have the opportunity to train in quality sports facilities, with good nutrition and adequate schooling, inaccessible to the majority of the population in these regions.

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Thanks to this initiative, they were all enrolled in formal schools and received lessons in social skills, IT, health care, as well as sports equipment and training sessions. The academy also offers an educational development plan for the most talented participants from this region of India to help them pursue a career in football, honing their skills under the tutelage of qualified coaches who supervise and coordinate the project.

First lesson of the home football program

After the first lesson, one of the main impacts of the residential academy is that more and more girls want to get involved in football, as they see that there are more and more opportunities in the game. There has also been a perceived paradigm shift in the mindset of parents as they begin to encourage girls to play football in rural community clubs as they see it can help their academic and then professional development. . For the director of the Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA), Sai Krishna, “the most difficult challenge was to involve the girls in sports activities. In Anantapur, none of them played sports. Currently, 45% of participants in all our projects are girls. A change of paradigm and mentality is underway, necessary to move the culture towards tolerance and equality”.

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The program achieved excellent results at the end of its first course. Girls are more confident about pursuing a career in football, while women’s visibility in the public sphere is applauded. From a pedagogical point of view, 90% of the girls passed their final exams, 75% of regular class attendance was achieved and 90% took computer courses. In addition, five book clubs were created as part of the project.

Olga de la Fuente, director of the La Liga FOUNDATION, says: “It is impressive to see how, in just one year, the academic performance and educational skills of girls in this region have improved. We are convinced that through football and formal education, great progress will be made to improve the quality of life of these girls in the future”.

“At La Liga and the La Liga FOUNDATION, we will continue to support initiatives that promote gender equality and are committed to developing skills for the football industry,” added Pedro Malabia, Director of the Women’s Football Department. of La Liga.

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