The Possibilities of #PlayItForward
May 11, 2015. The world is full of possibilities, no matter where you look. It could have been easy to dismiss the trash dump and pond full of garbage, located just behind Belilious School, as unsalvageable. But Chevrolet FC and Slum Soccer only saw the possibilities. Together they worked with Sandip Dutta, trustee of the land and the Belilious School to create a field worthy of any community in the world. The new field will be used to reach out to the most under-served children and youth of Kolkata.
Coaches Across Continents continues its award-winning partnership with Chevrolet FC in our fifth community, this time in Tikiapara, Howrah, in Kolkata, India. CAC’s important role in this partnership is to create a sustainable legacy, where local coaches and teachers can use the new field as an educational environment, using sport to create social change. During our first week we trained over 60 coaches, empowering them to become coaches who can use sport to educate about important local social issues like health & wellness, female empowerment, conflict resolution, and child rights.
On the Event Day, Saturday May 9th, CAC showcased two of it’s games on the new pitch to a crowd of over 500 which included representatives from General Motors, Mikaël Silvestre (Manchester United legend) local dignitaries, the board of trustees of the ground, members of the media, and hundreds of children and parents watching. One game we showcased was from our Child Rights module: The Right to an Education. Slum Soccer coach Homkant used the game which involves adding goals onto the pitch each time you score (representing completing another year of schooling) to correlate the message that the more education you complete, the more opportunities open up in your life. On average, continuing just one more year of school means an increase of 10% of income.
These important messages will continue to be used by local coaches and teachers on the new pitch, creating long-term social change in the community. Our long-term Indian partner Slum Soccer has already created such social change in other locations – and we are confident that the impact they are about to have in Kolkata will be immense, thanks to the joint efforts of Chevrolet FC, One World Play Project, and Coaches Across Continents. Possibilities are everywhere.