28 September 2018
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.
Pupils at CLC 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.
Eve Jardine-Young, Principal of Cheltenham Ladies’ College, 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 bathroom. This opportunity is a lifeline. The host schools will learn and benefit as much as the OSCAR team.”