CLC welcomes first #kicklikeagirl Tour from India

Pupils and staff at College were delighted to welcome an inspirational U17 football team, made up of 15 girls from Indian slum communities, when their first UK tour arrived in Cheltenham on Monday 1st October.

The tour is the first of its kind for the girls’ football team, after the boys’ team toured the UK in 2017. Both teams were set up by The OSCAR Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation based in Mumbai that uses football to encourage underprivileged girls and boys to go to school.

Ahead of their arrival, Principal Eve Jardine-Young said: “We are delighted that the OSCAR girls’ football team will be staying with us during their UK tour. Both the team and the foundation are inspirational to staff and pupils, and we look forward to welcoming them to CLC and hosting some fantastic football matches, assemblies and workshops.”

Before OSCAR, many of the girls in slum communities did not go to school, instead learning to cook and clean, and often preparing for illegal early marriages. OSCAR aims to stop this cycle by educating and empowering the girls to change their community’s mindset.

Ashok Rathod, founder of The OSCAR Foundation, said: “A football tour for girls is not only a major step forward for OSCAR but for India too. The 2017 boys’ tour proved that exposure to UK culture made an enormously positive impact. The boys have upped their game, they believe in their dreams. We need to convince girls they too deserve a future. With the support of the UK schools we know we can do this.”

Lucinda Sowerbutts, Tour Organiser, added: “The children selected for the OSCAR tour come from very poor uneducated families. Some of the girls have very harrowing personal stories and they live in basic houses with no running water or bathrooms. This opportunity is a lifeline. The host schools will learn and benefit as much as the OSCAR team.”

Pupils at College have been working on fundraising initiatives and support, for both The OSCAR Foundation and the 2018 #kicklikeagirl UK tour, along with pupils at five other schools across the country.

During their visit to College, the girls took part in a Prayers, a Geography Q&A discussion about humanity, an African Drumming session, a Theory of Knowledge session on communications skills, and a Disco Spin session. The football match itself, which was hosted at the Health and Fitness Centre, led to a well-deserved win for the OSCAR girls.

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