As women athletes in the Olympics become talk of the town, City Spidey came across some young girls in Dwarka’s Sector 9, and their mentors, who are doing their bit to make the most of their talent in volleyball.
If you happen to be a regular visitor at the neighbourhood park, you might have noticed some girls playing volleyball in the mornings on weekends and in evenings on weekdays. Did you know that some of these girls represent Delhi in the nationals?
These girls, many of them from underprivileged backgrounds, come to the park from distant places like Sagarpur, Patel Nagar, Nangloi and Kair Village on a bicycle. On the ground, they are accompanied by children from several societies near the park, who also play and train with them.
One wondered what was drawing them here.
“We are focused on providing a platform for those who want to play. We only want to support them with the knowledge what we have. Now there are about 8 to 10 girls playing nationals and representing Delhi,” says Shashi Kumar, a volleyball instructor from SPG College, Delhi University, and a resident of Pochanpur Colony, Dwarka.
Kumar has been training the girls for over two years now. And, guess what! He’s been doing this free of cost.
The training begins at 6 am on weekends and 4.30 pm on weekdays. There’s no compromise on discipline. The players clean the area first where they play and help keep the surroundings well-maintained. There is great rapport too among players as senior girls train juniors and both share the love for the sport.
Kumar, however, is not alone in this endeavour. Some other professionals like Ashish Kumar, Uttam Negi and Vishwajeet Pandey are grooming the girls voluntarily to promote the sport and the nurture their talent. Several RWAs in the area also standing behind the cause.
The mentors tried several venues before zeroing in on this park. Safety was their top concern, and rightly so. Support from the community was second.
Kumar says, “We have all girl players and this place is safe for them. Moreover, the support from the residents is there, which keeps boosting our morale to do something for the sport. One of the best things here is that children from societies around the park also join us. You can say the sport is building bonds in the community. ”
Kumar’s noble pursuit caught the eye of residents too. Members of Federation of RWAs (FORWAS) offer their support to him from time to time.
KS Bhati, president of FORWAS, says, “This is a great service to the society. On one hand, we are promoting sports and on the other hand, we are empowering the girl child.” MK Singh, general secretary of FORWAS, adds, “We should promote girls. They are doing excellent in sports. Who knows, someone from this group may make the nation proud one day!”