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WHAT WE ARE - Just For Kicks is a school intervention program that works towards teaching kids the invaluable lessons of commitment, confidence, self-awareness and grit through our life skills based football curriculum.
WHERE WE WORK - Just For Kicks works with schools that cater to students from the bottom of the economic pyramid - government schools, budget private schools, or public private partnership schools. We begin with kids as early as 7 years old and handhold them till the age of 16, by working with the school on an ongoing basis.
TRAINING SESSIONS - After conducting thorough selections and trials for various age categories, JFK's certified coaches conduct rigorous training twice a week for a period of 7 months.
THE LEAGUE - The School Football Championship (SFC - www.sfcleague.com) is an All India Inter-school Football League where JFK kids as well as kids from the best schools of India get an opportunity to showcase their skills and learnings.
Zaya & Friends, SGV Foxpassers
Shri Geeta Vidyalaya (Mumbai)
Zaya Shaikh (Left) had never played any sport in her life until Just For Kicks came about. Coming from a conservative community, they had to wear burqas at all times and were not allowed to play any outdoor sport. Through Just For Kicks, Zaya not only managed to break this cycle but also change the mindset of her entire community which now has a representation of 50 girls in our program.
Samrat, 10 years
Striker, Kohtrud Wolves National Champion, U10 Boys
2 years ago, Samrat was an average 8 year old kid in the classroom, someone lost in the shadows of his outperforming friends. As soon as his teacher enrolled the class in the JFK program, Samrat found his calling. He took to the ball like it was another limb, spending countless hours juggling and shooting. He took responsibility of his team and made sure they all woke up every day at 4 am, training till 7 am. He began obsessing over the game, encouraging his parents and family to watch matches and look at the tricks he had learnt. At SFC, Samrat scored 38 goals in 5 matches. This young man was hands down the most remarkable U10 player at the National Finals and he has become an icon not only in his school but also in his community. His father keep saying, ‘The atmosphere at home has transformed.’ In few months, he is headed to train with some of the world’s best.
Avantika, 12 years
Striker, Shindewadi Superheroes
National Champion, U12 Girls
A bright student, she was encouraged to take up a sport because her teachers felt it would help her open up to the world and reduce the pressures of only academic achievement. She lost her mother at a young age and started taking up a lot of responsibility of her own life and also helped her siblings. The football program at JFK introduced the joy of playing and her natural leadership to bring out the best of this responsible young girl always nurturing the rest of her team. As she learnt at a rapid pace and started getting noticed, she glowed with pride and confidence. 2 years on the team as defender and then a striker, Avantika has shown a tremendous amount of dedication and learning, going on to win the Most Valuable Player in the U12 Girls category. Her principal shares that she is a brilliant example of how sport has enhanced her academic performance and life skills. With football, an immense love for her team, and the determination to succeed, Avantika is now the exemplar role model of a complete all-rounder for all peers and girls.
Manoj Yadav, 18
Centre Forward, Bibvewadi Superstrikers & Just For Kicks Coach
Once a part of our first batch of children, now an AIFF certified Grassroots Coach for our growing football population.
"I play football to learn new things. Mostly because I enjoy playing and feel good on the field.
When Just For Kicks came to our school, it felt like there was a new opportunity in school. Something different from what usually happens.
After 4 years with JFK, I am a coach now. I am inspired by the students I coach everyday because they teach me that you can become better. JFK has taught me how to build on my weaknesses. This has changed me because now I like taking responsibility. I want others to learn the value of football so I am happy JFK gave me the chance to coach.
My favourite team is Barca because they play in a triangle formation which I also try to play and teach my kids.
10 years from now, I see myself as a professional coach and a manager at Just For Kicks."
Who, What & Why
Just For Kicks is a school intervention program that works towards teaching kids the invaluable lessons of critical thinking, self-awareness, and leadership through our life skills based football curriculum. In a country where 66% of high school graduates are unemployable due to lack of life skills, we believe that football can be the tool to bridge this gap and equip them with a better chance at a happier, well-rounded life. While we develop life skills on one side, it gives children an incredible opportunity to pursue a career in the world’s most played sport.
Our Philosophy & Methodology
We firmly believe life skills can only be taught indirectly through various mediums. By focusing on the tool - football - a child is able to fully immerse into the sport, imbibing life skills and developing a strong love and passion for football.
We follow a simple model of work that runs right through the academic year:
What began in 2011 as a program within 5 schools in Pune today has grown tremendously, as shown by the numbers below:
Through the Just For Kicks Program, we have seen an average difference of 17% in attendance – when comparing kids in the program and their classmates.
Our current registration data tells us that this year will see a presence of 43% girls’ teams, a statistic that gives us immense pride and hope.
94% of schools interviewed tell us that they see ‘a marked difference in the behavior and attitude of children, because of the JFK program’
But most of all, it is the stories that prove we are on the right track. Stories from Pune about Ashutosh, the most violent kid in the St. Francis team, calling for a closed door meeting with the entire team to put an end to fights within the team. Stories from Mumbai about Zaya and how she changed the outlook her conservative community had about girls playing football – where she now coaches close to 50 young girls.
We have always had our proof points. The only question that remained was ‘Can we take these kids we serve and propel them into Indian Football – changing how sport is looked at in the communities and uplifting the dismal state of affairs in grassroots football development?’
To answer that question, we began the School Football Championships. (www.sfcleague.com)
In its inaugural season, The School Football Championships ran across 8 weekends across 4 cities simultaneously. Over the course of these 8 weeks, close to 200 teams battled it out to be crowned City Champions. With technical partners like Mumbai City FC, Crystal Palace FC and a whole host of local clubs – the children knew what was at stake. This could be their chance to make it big. To go from adoring Zlatan and Iniesta, to actually trying to emulate them.
Why Support Us?
You should support us because you share a common love for the beautiful game. You should support us because we are on a never-ending quest to transform the lives of children whose lives are defined by demographics. You should support us because we can significantly change the way children look at schooling. You should support us because we have absolutely no doubt that India does have the potential to be a force in the world of football.
But most of all, you should support us because it is time for all of us to stop sitting on our couches and talk about change. Start with a contribution, get involved, spread the word. We assure you that the day you stand firmly by a cause, everyone else will too.
We are on the cusp of a major revolution in the education and sports space. Here is your chance to be in the forefront of this - Donate.