While coverage of football has increased over the years, what often gets unnoticed that there are hundreds of women who play a vital role in football at grassroots, national & international football. She Kicks Football Academy is becoming the voice of football, especially for women by – motivating their participation and celebrating their contribution to Indian Football. This feature discusses the academy’s evolution, experiences and any challenges they may have faced along the way.
Between West Ham United Ladies and India Women’s team, Aditi Chauhan is a name who is making her mark in a sport; only few would’ve given a serious chance at. And yes, she is the face behind something really phenomenal for the young women footballers in India – She Kicks Football Academy.
The national team goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan became the first Indian female footballer to play for a professional club in the United Kingdom, but could not continue because of her visa expiration.
But this Indian footballer soon grabbed the opportunity to play again, when Loughborough University offered her a chance for a part-time job. This made her way to continue playing for West Ham ladies club.
Aditi has played abroad and knows how things are there. Seeing the abundant potential in Indian football made her launch her own initiative, known as She Kicks Football Academy (SKFA).
Being a footballer herself she is aware of how much work is required at the grassroots level to move India’s football potential in the right direction. And She Kicks Football Academy just aims for the same.
The SKFA is a program that aims to empower females by providing a platform to showcase their footballing talent.
The 25-year old Aditi says, “Through this initiative, I want to encourage more and more girls to experience the sport and start playing football.”
She Kicks Football Academy: Discover, Train and Flaunt your best potential
SKFA as a Delhi-based female-centric football academy offers guidance and mentorship to the girls in football.
The academy has divided the students receiving training in two age groups – U-14 and U- 18. The academy visits different schools, talking about the sport to the girls. Through these workshops, the academy recognizes the football talent in girls and nurtures that talent in the academy.
Though All India Football Federation (AIFF) has launched the country’s first women’s league – Indian Women’s League (IWL) in 2016 but Aditi feels focus on the grassroots level is essential for football to grow in the country and tries to offer basic nourishment of the women footballers at her academy.
Aditi in an interview to PTI said, “The structure is really shaping up and a lot of great initiatives have been started by corporates in women’s football as well. They have started professional leagues for girls that are something really special. Even then AIFF has started a league. It’s a step in the right direction.”
How She Kicks is creating Football icons of the future
She Kicks offers a wide range of program for the betterment of women players and the coaches. The players’ enrolled are segregated in U-14 and U-18 batches and have to undergo a full training program in the academy, abiding certain rules and regulations. Under the training session, women players receive extensive care on health, nutrition, expert coaching and participation in various competitions.
With a strict weekly schedule, the academy ensures that the players training get the best of treatment and turn these young, talented and passionate girls into humble yet footballers. The Academy imparts professional football training in a safe environment and inculcates sporting ethics in the players.
She Kicks Football Academy Seminar
She Kicks Academy recently conducted a seminar to explore the newest women football talent. Recognizing the importance of football, the seminar focused upon how the opportunities are wide open in Indian Football and how the youngsters can avail the best of chances.
In this seminar, when Aditi was asked about women’s football, she said, “The Indian women’s team is ranked 60th in the world, which is better than the men’s ranking. People tend to forget that. The women’s achievements are not highlighted.
“People need to realize that the women’s team is also doing well. Acknowledging that will help increase the overall growth of football in India,” added Aditi, who is making it sure that the country will recognize the worth of women footballers in India through this She Kicks Academy initiative.
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