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Football on My Mind

Campaign by George Institute for Global Health

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India has the world's largest adolescent population (253 million). Among adolescents aged 13-17, 7.3% have mental morbidity and increased suicidal risk. Adolescents' focus on online games & social media has led to a sedentary lifestyle (increased obesity & reduced mental well-being) as smartphones & internet become cheaper. Studies indicate that adolescents who participate in team sports have a healthier lifestyle and mental well-being than those who participate in individual/virtual sports. Hence, the following project aims to develop, promote, and implement a mental wellbeing module for adolescents aged 15-19 that includes football as a key component. Session time will be weekly, and football practicing will be done in gender-segregated groups.

This project will complement our existing intervention in the urban slums of Faridabad, India, where 9.7% of adolescents suffer from mild to severe depression. According to our surveys, adolescents, especially girls, in this area are fonder of football. We consulted girls and peer leaders involved in our existing project, who mentioned that some of them play football and would be keen to participate in the proposed project.


To achieve the project goal, following activities are planned: -


1.    Identification of peer leaders

2.    Organising football practices and matches in gender segregated groups every second day

3.    Identification of older adolescent girls from nearest districts which is the sports hub, namely Jhajjar, who are professional footballers, as models to inspire adolescent girls from slums in Faridabad.

4.    Conducting peer exchange and exposure program in every two months. A group of adolescents from Faridabad will visit their peers training to be professional footballers in Jhajjar where there are football coaching centres and academies for a few days. We also have projects operating in Jhajjar and will use our existing relationship to leverage the peer exchange program.

The project envisages to target up to 100 direct beneficiaries in 2 years of its project duration. 50% or more of project participants would be in the age range of 16-18 years. The project plans to involve up to 50% girls. More than 30% of project participants will be from minority background.


We expect the following outcomes after the successful implementation of this project: -

1.    Improvement in life skills of adolescents and their overall wellbeing.

2.    Adolescent girls practicing football will promote greater gender equality leading to improved leadership and team-building skills.

3.    Improvement in the socio-economic status of adolescents living in slums

4.    There is a high prevalence of substance use disorder and recreational drugs among adolescents in urban slums. The adolescents engaged in sports such as Football will reduce their intake of such harmful substances.

George Institute for Global Health

George Institute for Global Health

Beneficiary Charity

Joygopal Podder

Joygopal Podder


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