After months of planning, Goal was finally launched in Chennai at the Thoraipakkam Government High School, on the 8th January. Kalyani provided us with this report:
The event had the Head Master, the entire Nalamdana team, a few parents of the students, some teachers and Shashi Ravichandran, Head of Corporate Affairs, and Standard Chartered staff.
Mr. Sampath of Nalamdana welcomed everyone, after which the school Head Master, Mr.Kalaiselvam addressed the students about the importance of playing and sports to growing girls. He said that there was almost no opportunity or encouragement for the girls to play outdoors outside school, whereas the boys would always find somewhere to go and play cricket. Even within school, the girls hardly ever take the initiative to go out and play. He said that he was honored that Nalamdana had picked his school to promote a women’s sport and empower the girls.
Nithya Balaji, Executive Trustee spoke next, about Naz Foundation, Nalamdana, Standard Chartered Bank and also gave a basic outline about the programme.
Bama Jayabalan, Coordinator, Goal Chennai explained about Goal Program and highlighted the skills it would help develop, and gave details on who and how they can sign up for the program. There was a lot of enthusiasm from all the students and parents present.
This was followed by a enthusiastic session of energizers/games. The Goal Chennai team conducted a ‘Lemon n spoon race’ for the parents and teachers. The students were thrilled to see their parents and teachers run! Next there were musical chairs and a needle and thread races for some of the girls. All the fun, laughter and running around, helped reinforce how physical activity in groups/teams, can help them feel so good about themselves!
Sunitha Suren, coach for Goal Chennai then did a small demonstration of Netball, and explained the game in brief. Shashi then spoke to the girls about how they hope to help the girls with financial literacy, and provide vocational training to those who showed promise.
Girls in large numbers queued up to sign up and take home consent forms. The program ended on a high note, with a vote of thanks by Mr.Oyyavandhan of Nalamdana, thanking nature first for providing with lovely weather for the event and then thanking all the students, and invitees who had come for the event.