Kolkata: It was a dream come true moment for Durbar Sports Academy (DSA) – a sports organization of sex workers and underprivileged children – after they got a chance to meet England under-17 football team — who are in the country to participate in the FIFA U-17 World Cup — at New Town School in Kolkata on Thursday.
The DSA invited the England players to visit their academy in Southern fringes of the city near Baruipur and requested them to train some of the best young football players - who are the children of sex workers and fishermen - in England.
Speaking to News18, DSA coach, Biswajit Majumdar said, "We have some good players who played Dana Cup in Denmark and under-14 at national level. We want these players to shine on the international level. We are short of funds and therefore we have requested if they could help us in shaping their football careers.”
"We are happy to meet the English team and we are very impressed with their gesture towards underprivileged children. It is like a dream come true moment for these children," he added.
The England players also met children from the British Council's 'DOSTI Sports for Peace' programme and 'Kolkata Goalz - a premier skills project which helped build positive relationships between young people and the local authorities through sport.
'DOSTI Sports for Peace' is a community sport and a series of social development modules to engage young people living in disadvantaged communities and DSA is one of the partner institutions of it.
The Young Lions shared their training methods and exhibited their football skills. They also gave tips to the young junior players in Kolkata who came from these NGOs.
England chief coach Steve Cooper said, "Beside sports, it is our social responsibility to involved in community service and engaging our players to give something back to the society."
A friendly match between the girls and boys football teams from the Newtown School and the England team was also took place, which was appreciated by the Young Lions. British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata Bruce Bucknell welcomed the England Under-17’s community outreach programme in Kolkata.
"I am delighted that the England players have taken time to meet so many children from Kolkata. Sport brings people together and helps build communities. I am sure through this interaction with the England players the children here today will feel more confident about themselves and their game," Bucknell said.
"We are happy that they came to our school and shared some valuable football tips to the young players. In future we will continue to organize such events to help these children to shape their career in sports and other sectors," Sunil Agarwal, founder director of Newtown School, said.