Rags to riches stories are dime a dozen in football. Some of the top players in football were once street kids. Thus, there is little doubt if football can be an actual gamechanger in the lives of the have-nots. As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) renewable energy major Gamesa in association with Slum Soccer, a Nagpur-based NGO, hosted the the second edition of the Gamesa Soccer League (GSL) 2016 in the city on Monday at the Madras School of Social Work.
Post Master General, Chennai, Merwin Alexander kicked off the exhibition match, displaying some of his skills to the crowd in the process. Applauding the efforts of the organisers, Merwin said, “This is an innovation. Hope more government organisations and companies try and include this as part of their CSR activity. More than anything, you saved the kids from cricket.”
British Deputy High Commissioner Bharath Joshi, Former DGP R Natraj, Gamesa chairman Ramesh Kymal, Abhijit Bharse, CEO, Slum Soccer were the other dignitaries at the inaugural event. Ramesh during his address said, “Our idea is not to develop world-class soccer players, but to create world- class individuals.” However, one of the star players of last years league, P Parthipan went on to represent India in the ‘Homeless World Cup’ at Amsterdam. Winners of GSL 2016 will get a chance to play with other leading players in the Homeless World Cup which is scheduled to happen in Glasgow, Scotland.
The teams will undergo an intensive six-month training with a strict exercise and dietary regime. ISL champions Chennaiyin FC will be the coaching partner for the teams.