Along with developing football, the Foundation also aims to use the sport as a tool for the positive development of individuals. We believe football is a powerful medium for social development and inclusion. Keeping this belief in mind, the Foundation has partnered with The Owl House located in Aldona, Goa. The Owl House is a not-for-profit organisation working on a community service initiative towards helping individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities integrate into society. They also provide support to the families through various interventions.
We hold weekly sessions with them to execute and develop a football based curriculum that can help these individuals learn and develop through football. The programme includes sessions that help individuals to build skills such as – improving their balance and coordination, participating in the world by learning to work in teams, as well as learning to follow instructions. A crucial aspect of these sessions is tracking individual progress. Along with the team at Owl House we have developed a session-wise tracking mechanism that can help us understand which activities have the highest impact in terms of learning and growth. Our aim is to help integrate these individuals into society through our trained coaches who ensure that they learn and have fun while they play.
Our association with Owl house began in July 2019 and we currently have 10 individuals from Owl House who participate in our programme. Sessions consist of football based games and activities that help develop motor skills and social skills of individuals. The Foundation’s coaches have been trained by Special Olympics and hence understand how to work with children with special needs.
Recently, the Owl House also put up a lemonade stall at the Foundation’s Little Gaurs League which was managed by individuals who are part of the programme. The purpose of such activities is to help raise awareness of their work as well as offer an opportunity for on-ground exposure to the beneficiaries of the programme.
The Foundation’s long-term goal is to develop a curriculum that can be used by coaches, educators and organisations across the country that work with special needs groups, so that they can utilise the game to instill these valuable life-skills.