Govinda from India grew up in a family with little money, and dropped out of school at the age of 12. It was through football, a sport he had never previously played, that Govinda transformed his life. He now delivers grassroots football activities for children, and trains other people to become coaches.

My Story

“I come from a very poor background, and grew up in a slum in Colaba, South Mumbai. I am the youngest of four brothers. In 2004, I dropped out of school at the age of 12 because of my family’s financial difficulties. I started working in a small hotel, earning 600 rupees a month. I used this money to help my family.

Things changed when I joined the OSCAR Foundation. They have a rule that if you want to play, you have to go to school. So, I enrolled in school, and this is where my journey started. It was through them that I participated in the FCSA programme.

This was one of the first training programmes that I had attended. It taught me a lot. I learnt about first aid, as well as how to deliver a football session for lots of children; how to behave in front of children; and how to deliver social messages through football. It was a life changing opportunity for me.

I now work as an Assistant Trainer. I go to different communities, states, and districts around India, to train motivated young people to be grassroots football coaches. I have even trained people about twice my age. Besides coaching young leaders, I also deliver football activities for children in my community – many of whom have little chance to play.

I always wanted to work with children because I think whatever changes came in my life, whatever I am achieving, whatever I am improving in myself, I want to help them change their life too. I want them to come up and inspire others. I want them to complete their education. Through football, I teach children social messages like, how we can stop child marriage, the importance of education, health and hygiene, and leadership skills.

The smile on the kids’ faces at the end of a training session is all I need. It motivates me to work harder for them. My parents also motivate me to be better than I am. I want to show them that, whatever I am doing, I am doing it good – and for a good cause. I want to make my parents proud.”

Quick Facts
  • Young Coach Education in India (2013/2014)
  • Oscar Foundation
  • Indian
  • 450 Peer Young Coaches
  • 1,500 Benefitting Children