Celebrating the spirit of the female athletes in RFYS

Celebrating the spirit of the female athletes in RFYS

The Reliance Foundation Youth Sports celebrates International Women’s Day with the rest of the world on the 8th of March, and we look at the wonderful female student-athletes who have been part of the tournament, with great love, respect, and admiration.

The new generation is becoming increasingly aware of the large role played by girls and women in shaping sports, and RFYS has played an important role in creating opportunities for these wonderful athletes to express themselves. Female athletes in different sections of society still don’t get the support that they deserve, and are discouraged from playing sports, their parents and relatives telling them to focus on studies and home chores. Age-old notions like athletes getting tanned and affecting their chances of finding a suitable match are used to detract girls. But this thinking leads to make women believe that they are not equal to their male counterparts, and is something that RFYS aims to eliminate by bringing to light all the positives that sports have in the development of a person.

At the heart of the RFYS core values are the idea to provide equal opportunities to young athletes, regardless of their gender and socio-economic status. “It’s heart-warming to know that 165 Senior Girls teams participated in the first year. I think it’s pretty awesome!” beamed Mrs. Nita Ambani. “It doesn’t matter if they win or lose, but the fact that they tried, makes me feel happy and good at launching this program.”

On its part, the RFYS has made sure that if a school shows a desire to play and participate in sport, they are guided and motivated in the best way. Dispur Academy, Guwahati, showed the right spirit by getting their girls to come and experience their first live football match from the stands. These girls who were present at the ground left the venue with a sense of awe and inspiration that they can take up the sport and participate in future.

This is the generation of girls that have given us young champs in the form of Anline Fernandes, Shivali Shankar, Jyoti Tumung, Akanksha Kandalkar, R. Adhithi, and Annette Da Costa, to name just a few, at the recently concluded RFYS National Championships. Playing at the same level as all the competitors, being availed of the same facilities and being awarded prizes that are equal in every sense of the word is just the start of the sporting revolution that the RFYS is bringing about in India. With their performances and dedication to the sport, these girls have shown they mean business and are ready to take on bigger challenges, be it in sport or day-to-day life.