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Posted at: Jul 12, 2017, 2:02 AM; last updated: Jul 12, 2017, 2:02 AM (IST)

Mohali girl shines at football programme in Russia

Mohali girl shines at football programme in Russia
Ananya Kamboj also witnessed the Confederation Cup final between Germany and Chile.

New Delhi, July 11

Young Indian players, including Mohali-based Ananya Kamboj, performed impressively at the fifth season of Football for Friendship 2017 Programme that concluded successfully in St. Petersburg.

The June 27-July 2 programme brought together young football players and young writers aged 12 years from 64 countries. 

The young footballers were united in 8 International Teams of Friendship, and were accompanied by young journalists who were selected to report on the Football for Friendship events.  

India joined the programme for the first time and was represented by Mumbai’s Sujal Kahar and Ananya who were selected as the young footballer and young journalist respectively.  

Ananya was a part of the young journalist’s team, which covered all key events on equal terms with the adult reporters. 

The Class VIII student from Vivek High School, Mohali, was shortlisted as the F4F Young Journalist from India following a writing contest conducted by Mission XI Million programme of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 that has a vision of making football the sport of choice among the youth by bringing football to 11 million kids.

In St. Petersburg, Ananya was one of the winners the “Friendship …” contest with an illustration capturing a key activity of the Football for Friendship Programme — players’ hands bearing the iconic friendship bracelet interlinked in friendship. 

She also placed second for an article she wrote on “International Day of Football and Friendship”.  

Apart from these accolades, Ananya contributed five articles including a poem for the daily F4F Newsletter and also anchored the Football for Friendship video digest.

Sujal, a goal-keeper from Mumbai, was shortlisted as the F4F Young Ambassador from over 2500 kids by Just for Kicks, a school intervention programme working towards developing life skills amongst children belonging to lower income families by incorporating football training in their school curriculum.

Sujal played in the Yellow Team of Friendship, alongside young players from Pakistan, Iceland, South Korea, South Africa, Slovenia, Armenia and Venezuela.  

The Yellow Team was just a game shy of reaching the finals, losing 3-4 to eventual winners the Orange team in a tightly contested semi-final encounter. 

From the streets of Mumbai to St. Petersburg, the journey has bought about a positive transformation for Sujal, instilling in him the confidence to address a crowd of over 1000 people, as one of the key note speakers for the closing ceremony of the programme. “I am glad I got to be a part of the programme and had the chance to make new friends from different countries,” said Sujal. — IANS

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