When I saw boys’ football in my school, I wondered why girls can’t play this game. So I started playing the sport. Once in my life, I want to play FIFA for my country and want to win,” says Bhumika Yadav, a 13-year-old student player participating in Kica Women’s Football League ongoing in the capital city.
Yadav further adds that she wanted to be treated as a player on the field like others and not as just a child regardless of her age.
Building on similar ideas on empowerment, Aneesha Labroo, founder of Kica - an activewear brand for women, has organised this league for amateur women players of football in New Delhi. According to the Delhi-based Labroo, who has been playing football since she was a child, she developed the love for the game due to her father. “Early in my life, I used to play the game and cheer for top players with my father. Just like any other sport, playing football too contributes towards emotional and mental well-being, through honing of qualities like confidence, mental toughness, initiative and most significantly, peer bonding,” she says.
According to Labroo, at the heart of the Kica Women’s Football League is an aim to help women empower other women by creating a community of all ages and walks of life that supports and motivates each other to stay healthy and fit. A participant from Delhi, Nazish Mir echoes Labroo’s views, saying, “For me what drew me to football was just a need to be healthy and fit but the sport has really helped me feel better about myself, gave me a sense of community, the strategy, focus and adrenaline rush that one learns and gets from football is truly unmatchable.”
Labroo is attempting to foster this through a six team, amateur football tournament of all ages, skill sets and backgrounds. The league came about when she shared this idea with fellow football players and “the community grew”. Labroo hopes to make this league into a bi-annual event. Overall, the tournament will follow a fun yet competitive format of seven players-a-side, playing on a smaller turf in a 50-minute game with two halves.The league games will take place every Sunday, till March 8, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Conscient Sports Arena, Pocket 2, Sector D, Vasant Kunj.