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Anantapur Sports Academy organises maiden Mixed Gender Football Cup
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The event and accompanying workshop aimed to develop leadership skills and promote gender equality.

Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) having successfully organised the 2016/17 season of the Anantapur Football League (AFL) for girls in the district of Anantapur continued to show its support for participation of girls in sport through U9 mixed gender football cup. ASA believes football, being a most powerful tool, has the potential to break gender and cultural barriers which still persist in hidden spheres of the society. The U9 mixed gender cup will provide an opportunity especially for girls to represent themselves and more over participate in sport.

Jofre Mateu Gonzalez, FC Goa mid-fielder from Spain and a mentor at ASA visited Anantapur to take part in this maiden mixed gender football cup. Jofre, who played top tier football in Spain for multiple clubs, was excited to play with these children in the cup.

The much awaited U-9 mixed gender football cup kicked off on 29 July, 2017 in Anantapur Sports Village (ASV). The tournament saw participation from eleven teams comprising more than hundred girls and boys coming from around the district. A total of 38 matches were played over the course of two days.

The final was played between Dharmavaram and Kalyandurgam A, two of the prominent regions in Anantapur known for encouraging young children including girls and boys to benefit from their ‘Right to Play’. The players were as young as five years old, the youngest being Chaitanya (Dharmavaram) who was cheered by the crowd whenever he kicked the football. A noteworthy moment came when Anusha from Atmakur was declared the best player of the tournament. ASA believes this achievement would go a long way inspiring her and other girls to pursue sport.

Prior to the U9 mixed gender football cup, Jofre led a three day workshop from 26 to 28 June 2017 with a focus on leadership, communication and team building for volunteer coaches leading the ASA Grassroots Football Program. The workshop witnessed a good participation and appreciation by more than 40 young participants.

Jofre Mateu speaking about the maiden event said “Considering the regional context, the U-9 mixed gender football cup is a significant measure towards promoting inclusion and to achieve gender equity from a very young age in the rural regions of Anantapur through football. Watching these young girls and boys play football together over these two days reiterated that there is no difference between the girls and boys, particularly in terms of their energy and enthusiasm for sport. Provided opportunity and support, particularly girls if they continue playing with the same spirit they can reach higher levels.” 

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India
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Asia
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Football (Soccer)

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