Contributed by: Sheba Siddiqui
Dated: 5th Nov, 2017
As kids, we all had dreams…small ones like we hope the next day is a rainy day at school and big dreams like meeting celebrities, becoming big people later in our lives, finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, we never really realize how the monotonous parts of our schedule might be the big dreams for many others. They simply dream to be able to attend a school, get half an hour to play like regular kids, to step out and feel free like any child should.
This Saturday, around 150 such kids were able to live a few dreams and the happiness they derived was their pot of gold. Some of these kids live in slums, some in make-shift houses and some even in shelter homes. They have many unfulfilled dreams but we at Project KHEL thought that Global Peace Games is an initiative which might help to fulfill at least a few. The main objective of this initiative is to spread harmony among different sectors of our community through sports and games. But do we at Project KHEL ever just stick to accomplishing the most visible aim? No, we try to recognize the finer points of the big picture and work on building on all of them.
Thus, the day of event saw more than 120 kids work on improving their frisbee skills, understanding the concept of Ultimate but more importantly explore their potential, draw power from the stories they heard and understand that there is scope to achieve much bigger dreams.
All this was possible because the 8 teams participating in the Lucknow Ultimate Open (a simultaneously happening event) welcomed the idea to coach and mentor these kids as small teams under them. The professional teams included teams from ‘A’ level colleges, national level players and also certain teams comprising of underprivileged players, who gave it all to help these kids learn everything they could in those few hours. In these few hours, the players forgot their tiredness, exhaustion from the previous games and that, to yet come from the next game and invested themselves completely in coaching the children allotted to them. And just like the players, the children also gave their best shot to this chance at living their dreams.
The result of this collaboration of efforts from both ends was much more than just improvement in frisbee and coaching skills. The real result was the tiny moments of empowerment for both the parties. We saw girls wearing head scarfs forget about all inhibitions and run to catch the frisbee like their life depended on it; girls from shelter homes who had stepped out for the first time without any police protection, learn to effectively defend and block; a 12-year old professional team player teach another 10-year old newbie how to throw a frisbee in all the different ways possible! Another moment of awe was when one of the players from the team of underprivileged players decided to teach a specially-abled child, who wasn’t even officially allotted to him. Each team was also asked to choose one child from the ones they had coached as the spirited player of the team (another wonderful element of this beautiful game, Ultimate Frisbee, which deserves an entirely separate post to itself) and just the pride and ownership reflecting on the faces of the coaches to see these children get awarded was enough to bring tears on ours.
These moments were more powerful than any sensational catch or dexterous goal; these moments were the measurement of the impact of such an event. This event was a simple example of how just a few hours, an amazing initiative and some committed human beings is all it takes to make many such children more empowered to make countless dreams come true.