St Mary’s Calne ‘kicks off’ UK girls’ football tour for Mumbai girls

St Mary’s Calne ‘kicks off’ UK girls’ football tour for Mumbai girls

24 September 2018

The girls at St Mary’s Calne have been raising funds for the Mumbai-based OSCAR Foundation charity over many months to help to provide a life-changing football and educational tour for an U17 team of 15 girls from the Indian slums.

St Mary’s Calne fundraising initiatives will raise £5,000 and have included: designing and selling OSCAR T-shirts, organising an Indian-themed supper, a sponsored run and cycle – equal to the length of India from North to South (over 3,200 km) – by the Head Girl’s Team and two days of ‘mufti’ within school.

St Mary’s girls are looking forward to hosting a football tournament between the girls from OSCAR,
St Mary’s Calne girls and girls from Sheldon School, Chippenham, on Monday 1st October at 3pm at Beversbrook Sports Facility, Calne.

Founder of the OSCAR Foundation, Ashok Rathod 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.”

St Mary’s Calne will then welcome the girls back on Saturday 6th October for a day sampling life at the school, as well as hearing from the OSCAR Foundation girls’ team in an assembly which they will be giving to the Sixth Form.

In addition to being welcomed by a total of six leading independent schools in the UK, the OSCAR girls’ football team will be hosted by HRH The Countess of Wessex at Windsor Castle, go on the London Eye, Go Ape and be guests of Manchester United and Everton FC.

About the OSCAR Foundation
The OSCAR Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation based in Mumbai, uses football as the tool to encourage underprivileged girls and boys to go to school. It was founded by Ashok Rathod at the age of 18 to serve his own community and from an initial 18 boys in 2010 OSCAR now has 4,000 children across India in education. Of these 4,000 children, 1,400 are girls. OSCAR has one simple rule, ‘No school, no football.’ In slum communities, uneducated parents don’t allow their daughters to go to school. Instead they are made to cook and clean, to learn the necessary skills for an illegally early marriage. Youth pregnancies are common. OSCAR aims to stop this cycle by educating and empowering the girls to change their community’s mindset.

The 2017 boys’ tour is beautifully portrayed in the CBBC documentary, My Life: Mumbai Street Strikers, broadcast in June 2018.


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