A soccer-player-turned-coach, D Satya Raj, has created a football platform for kids and youngsters from slum communities.
Story so far: The Freedom Project of India’s Sport for Life initiative, led by Satya Raj, began at the Bengaluru East football field in 2004 as a humble project for five to seven local kids. Since then, it has grown into a grassroots soccer programme that now trains over 900 children across seven playgrounds and 14 neighbourhoods in the east and northeast of the city.
- The grassroots soccer training initiative has so far included more than 5,000 children from slum neighbourhoods in the city.
Flourishing project: Several players from the initiative are presently competing in age-group tournaments like the I-League as well as other Bengaluru soccer leagues. Currently, the project has seven C-Division league teams, athletes are making their way onto state teams, and up to twelve of the youths who attended the camps have become coaches.