KCL 2018 Feature : The Football Moms

When an elementary school-aged boy starts playing football, a number of things happen to his mother, she’s consumed with pride for him yet riddled with battlefield full of emotions. When you weren't able to get up from the pile, mom was there to take care of you, to make it better with antiseptic and band-Aids. Moms’ are going to have to be the ones to straighten out football’s mess. Yes, I’m overstating and stereotyping here. The role of mom's was blurred and yet has changed over the years. But for the most part, moms are still the ones doing the nurturing.

The conversation about football is turning, a little. Some people are questioning whether football is the right place to put their sons. But that stereotype is changing because of the increasing support from the mothers.

Mrs.Varsha Chheda was one of them this season in the Kenkre Champion's League with the loudest cheers and wholehearted support for her son Ziev Chheda, who is primarily a winger for the Footfun Football Academy and studies in St.Mary's School ,Mazagaon. Mrs.Chheda has been acively present for all of her son's matches supporting him and his team with full enthusiasm and intensity. Since the last five and a half years Ziev has been playing for the FFA academy and was one of the top scorers of the Kenkre Champions League last season with a total of 19 goals. Ziev's mom aspires for him to play for the Indian Football team someday in future.

The participation of students from the Bombay Scottish School is comparatively high with kids playing for different teams. Mrs. Meenal Popat who happens to be Bhagya Popat's mother from the team Scottish Shooters feels that a student should try to maintain a parry between football and studies thus not hampering either of them. Nothing beats mom's food and Mrs. Jingle Shah is very particular about her son's diet. She believes in adding more protein to her son's diet and tries to restrict his consumption of junk food. Her son Varun Shah, is in the 5th standard and plays as a defender for the Ten Titans and she is glad that her son is getting tougher each day and she does not worry much about the injuries as she knows she will take care of it.

Another mom who caught our eye was Mrs. Neelam Sanghvi who was clad in yellow supporting the host Kenkre Football Academy where her son Neil plays as a goalkeeper. Neil studies in D Y Patil International School and happens to be a state level swimmer. He gave up swimming for his passion for football. Mrs Sangvi says "My son will miss his tuitions but not football.” She strongly believes that such initiatives for developing football at the grassroot level should be undertaken by big clubs apart from football tournament conducted by the Mumbai Schools Sports Association which should not end up as the last resort.

 Mrs. Jennifer Devidayal who was mostly running around her son with a bottle of water was of a different opinion and believes that more and more of such tournaments should be undertaken by schools so that developments take place from school itself. Her son Sanjeet Devidayal studies in American School of Bombay and practices football in the Soccer School of Excellence. She is delighted by the fact that her son trains and practices with children from varied cultures and genetics thus enabling her son to become competitive in nature.

Some people have to wait their entire lives to meet their favorite player, 'I raised mine' said these fabulous mothers. One day you'll wake up and you won't have anyone to take you to practice, so enjoy this moment young lads…

By Jobel Varghese