Students of Miss Barker Memorial Girls’ High School in Jharkhand’s Khunti district have found a new obsession in recent weeks: football.
It was among the many schools that participated in a Mission XI Million (MXIM) festival — the legacy program of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup — that was held in Ranchi a few weeks back, and the students have been fascinated with the sport ever since.
“The girls went back to their village and determined to enjoy the game more, did the unthinkable. With some encouragement from the school administrators, they went ahead and created a football field for themselves. They now get to enjoy the game regularly,” a press release by the U-17 World Cup’s Local Organising Committee (LOC) stated.
“Before this, no one had asked us before whether our kids are interested in playing or not. But this is a nice opportunity that we got,” P Tigga, the Principal of the school, was quoted as saying in the release.
The Mission XI Million program aims to introduce 11 million children to football before the U-17 World Cup, and as per the LOC, seven million children have already been reached.
The U-17 World Cup will be held across six venues in India from October 6-28.