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Anantapur Football League greatly benefitting girls of the region


Anantapur Football League greatly benefitting girls of the region

Anantapur Football League (AFL) for Girls continues to grow as the second edition of the league comes to an end after receiving a great response from the local community members of Anantapur.

In September 2015, Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) started the Anantapur Football League (AFL) for girls, a community sports league to engage girls from the rural areas of Anantapur through football. In the initial edition, 11 teams participated in the league lasting three months which laid the foundation. In 2016, the teams grew to 13 with the league being played over five months.

The idea of sustainable practice of sport being a powerful tool to mobilize the rural youth, particularly girls, propelled ASA to commit for a longer (home & away) format to ensure the girls from the rural villages are offered sufficient opportunities to express themselves through football. In the initial edition, AFL-Girls played a pivotal role in the journey towards Gender Equity in Anantapur, as the league was won by Kalyandurg FC, coached and managed by two women, which revealed the hidden abilities of women upon access to sport. To encourage girls to participate in the league matches over the weekend, ASA ensured the presence of a volunteer (coach) at all mandal clubs to support girls to practice on a regular basis in their respective villages. They also provided them equipment and playing kits for further motivation.

This edition’s AFL-Girls kick started in September, 2016 with seven and six Mandal football clubs (Community FC’s) registering from North and South regions of Anantapur, respectively.  The presence of the AFL-Girls helped ASA to promote girls in sport as the number of girl participants increased to 281 covering all 13 Mandal clubs with a total of 213 girls playing the league stages. With league stages being played till end of the 2016, the knock stages took place on 11 & 12 January, 2017. A total of eight teams: Kalyandurg FC, Beluguppa FC, Atmakur FC, Gooty Town FC and Hindupur Town FC, Lepakshi FC, Parigi North FC, Parigi South FC qualified for the knockout stages of the league.

Over the course of quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals held in Anantapur Sports Village (ASV), the innate potential of girls was at display as the matches were played in a competitive spirit yet in a healthy environment which was apparent in the Final match, which was decided in penalties where Kalyandurg FC defended the league title against Atmakur FC.

The knockout stages acted as an event to acknowledge the development in girls in several aspects including their self-esteem, sporting spirit and decision making on and off the field. Miquel Llado, technical director of ASA’s football program said, “We believe regular access to sport over the year combined with AFL-Girls and activity based learning coaching camps with the support of partner Spanish clubs: C.F. Sant Vicenti and Sant Cugat Esport FC,  have acted as catalysts in observing these gradual developments. We would like to continue offering equal opportunities to both boys and girls from these rural villages and play a supporting role in their lives.”


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Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - 11:53