In a few months from now, India will play host to the FIFA U-17 World Cup. It will be one of the biggest sporting events that the country has ever hosted, and will be an incredible opportunity to showcase our talent on the global stage.
In addition to spreading the word among various government and corporate bodies, the Ministry also wishes to encourage football across all age groups from the grass root level on wards.
The Delhi Friendship Football Cup will be a grand event, which will take place on the 15th of September, at the CCSCSB Sports Ground in Vinay Marg, New Delhi.
SHM sports initiated the DFF Cup to engage corporate, govt departments, expat community in India, residential welfare association and others to further promote football across all sectors and communities.
We had an exclusive interview with the Founder and CEO of SHM sports, in which she spoke about a wide range of topics.
Q.1 What made you fall in love with sport, especially football? A player, a club or simply the joy of playing it?
Frankly speaking, I never played the game and was not a fan of any club. But I started to watch football occasionally in the last few years.
First, at home, especially on weekends during the football season when my husband will spend watching English Premier League and other international matches.
Secondly, two years back I visited one NGO in Delhi, where they train girls in football. The enthusiasm, joy, and happiness that I saw in the girls inspired me to do something with football for girls.
I am still planning to develop a project to engage more girls into football. Soon I will be able to roll out the program.
In short, I am a new entrant in to football and learning something new everyday. I find the game very interesting.
However, in my school days I use to play volleyball and basketball regularly and Yoga remains part of my daily routine till date, which I started when I was 11 years. I do believe Sport has the power to change the world.
Q.2 You have started your new venture called SHM Sports, tell us more about it.
SHM Sports has started out of my interest and passion. SHM offers bespoke corporate hospitality services from organizing our own events to managing other sports events across India.
We do sports consulting for corporates and manage & operate facilities.
Q.3 What are your goals and plans?
My plan is to work for Sports and encourage people to develop the culture of Sports and fitness.
I have just started my journey and have a long way to go. My goal is to contribute in my own way to the growth of the sports industry in India and bring innovative solutions to increase participation in sports.
Q.4 What to do you think about the current footballing scene in India?
I am just waiting for the FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 to kick off in India on 6th October 2017. I feel football is growing in India.
In Delhi I see the youth are very interested in football and girls also have a passion for this beautiful game. The future looks bright for Indian football.
Q.5 How do you think the U17 FIFA world cup can help Indian football?
I think the hosting of U17 World Cup is massive step and would help Indian football in many ways.
Participation will definitely grow and the world would witness our enthusiasm for the game. Everyone is looking forward to it and are very excited. I see it having an impact on the overall development of the game in India.
Q.6 What is your motivation behind the DFF Cup and how will it help promote the U-17 World Cup?
My motivation behind the hosting DFF Cup is to promote the game and bring together a diverse group of individuals from Corporates, Expats, Govt. Departments and Community Clubs to further popularize football and encourage sports.
Q.7 The winners will be playing friendlies in Spain, so do you think it is important for a budding player to train outside India to get better exposure?
The most interesting feature of our DFF Cup is that the winning team will go to Spain for a friendly series. The exposure abroad will help the players and we are making an attempt from our own to promote the game.
I am confident that the teams participating in the DFF Cup will find the event an entertaining, fun-filled, high quality and value based experience.
Q.8 What are the other events you are planning?
We are planning multiple events and our mega event, which would be held in 2018 in 8 different cities of India, has the potential to attract participation of 200000+. This will be something incredible which India would witness for the first time.
Other than the above event, we are planning events in women’s cricket, Kabaddi, Yoga, Riding and Fitness.