You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy. – Arthur Ashe

about-sportsChildren from disadvantaged backgrounds rarely have an opportunity to become international soccer stars. But give a child a chance with some vision and mentoring and you are likely to see him post a winning goal in the same manner as a Cristiano Ronaldo.

‘Youth for Sport’ – The Sports Programme of Youthreach aims at making some of these dreams possible by providing opportunities to boys and girls who do not have access to sports training and facilities under professional coaches. Many young children who found homes with Delhi-based NGOs such as Salaam Baalak Trust, Udayan Care and Karm Marg have been playing soccer, squash and tennis as part of this programme.

At one level, young people learn the skills necessary for future sporting careers and at the other, sports becomes a way of self expression, and of inculcating the values of fairness, discipline, team spirit, sharing, honour, equality and above all fun. Sports not only helps them to score top numbers in physical and mental health but also develops their ability to make choices, take on challenges and chart ways of overcoming them.

Under the ‘Youth for Sport’ initiative, Youthreach started its squash training programme on the 1st of March 2013, to train boys and girls in the age group of 9-17 years at the DDA Squash and Badminton Stadium, Siri Fort Road. Thirty children from five different NGOs enrolled to learn squash. Five coaches and four courts were engaged to train them three times a week for an hour a day each time. The training comprised of warming up exercises, practise and stretching which was followed by refreshments and badam milk for the children.