How sports can change a child’s life

Saad Shafqat Aug 22 2015
stree child

You might have heard of the cliché “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”The cliché itself is immensely powerful, but when you see people obeying and following the exact concept of it, it makes you even more enthusiastic and happy.

Pakistan, unfortunately, is a place where the rate of poverty has reached sky high. Inflation is at its peak. Health issues aren’t handled properly due to mismanagement. The rich are getting richer, whilst the poor are getting poorer. If we count the problems one by one, we can fill uncountable pages of documents, textbooks and what not.

The questions which arise in certain conditions are that, what does a common person strive for? What does that person aspire for? What can that person do to earn a respectable living?

It’s easier to write comments and answers on blogs and pages, but it’s very difficult to stand up and work for such causes.

Taking all of these scenarios in mind, I think this is where the “element of sports” can play a very important role. Sports, being the supreme blend of abstracts, can enable people to improve the individual and collective attributes in a way that can be fun and enjoyable at the same time. It grooms individuals on how to tackle the hardships and challenges with zeal and devotion.

A great example of how sports can change a child’s life is of Pakistan’s street children football team.

Having a goal in mind (literally), these amazing children have taken the world by storm. It’s an honor for me to write on the stellar accomplishments of these marvelous kids who have broken stereotypical thinking and have made themselves known globally. Hailing from different parts of Pakistan, this street children’s team was established in collaboration with Azad Foundation.

Azad Foundation was established in Karachi, Pakistan in 2001. They have been working since 14 years for the rehabilitation and grooming of such street children. Being a pioneer organization, their countless efforts for the under-privileged children have been exemplary.

In 2004, they established a drop-in centre, whilst in 2007 they laid the foundation for a rehab centre as well. The foundation played a role of policy-maker to amend and improve governmental policies, to influence public opinion in favor of implementing existing laws such as the Sindh Child Act, Juvenile Justice Ordinance, Sindh Child Protection Authority Act and to organize civil society in recognizing its role in policy-making.

In 2011, the first ever Children on the Streets Resource Centre came into existence with the sole objective to carry out researches in rejuvenating and to find ways for improving the overall lifestyle of the street children in Pakistan.

Street children football team has represented Pakistan in many tournaments including the Street Child Football World Cup, held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 2014. The team’s progression throughout the tournament was something to be really proud off.

Beating teams comprehensively, Pakistan reached the semi-finals of the event. They finished the event with a bronze medal, showing the world that Pakistan can be a force to reckon with when it comes to sports. Just recently, the same team visited Norway to play in the Norway Cup. Courtesy of some mesmerizing performances, the green shirts qualified till the semi-finals of the tournament, earning a bronze medal, making them the first ever team from Pakistan to win the third place prize at the Norway Cup.

This shows that if we employ sports for our children, not only will it make them more creative, it will also take them to places that they have never imagined.

Saad Shafqat

Saad Shafqat:

Saad is a Dentistry student with a passion for football. When he isn't busy studying, you can find him at the gym or at the football field. He has written for various blogs and websites and plans to continue to do so.