Everyone in Goa enjoys a good game of football in wide open spaces like the beaches or fields; when the pandemic hit, it was both strange and disheartening for locals to be left home-bound. Soon enough, the state began to realise that the only way they’d be able to get back to the outdoors without fear was if everyone took both doses of the vaccine. But was it really going to be that simple?
Goal Goa shows us how to invest in girls’ football
While some Goans lined up in hospitals and clinics to take their shots, others dreaded the risk involved in visiting health care centres and preferred to stay unvaccinated. Then came the winning idea of moving vaccination drives to a space that’s more relatable, positive and exciting for Goans – football pitches!
This is the central message that Goal Goa the film conveys – if everyone who can ‘take the shot’ does so, then soon enough, we can all go back outside to play football together.
The film features how and why ‘football came to be in every Goan’s blood’ and includes Goa National Women’s Winning team from the 1970s, India’s first woman coach for the women’s national team, the first woman FIFA referee and the first woman FIFA referee to adjudicate an international match. Young girls also talk about what they hope is possible when football re-starts and the world re-opens.
Goal Goa is a 60-minute feature film that begins in present-day Goa. The project is helmed by Lisa Heydlauff, CEO of Going to School, a creative not-for-profit education trust that makes powerful stories to transform the way Indian children and young people learn at school, online and on national television. The movie chases football players across Goa in the monsoon, in search of an answer to the question: How can the great game get us out of this so we can all get back to playing football together?
While the film takes us through how the shift of vaccination drives was successful in getting locals to take their vaccines, the story further explores how football came to Goa, and how players, especially women, came to compete nationally. Goal Goa is made possible through support from BT in India and BT Sport in the UK. Andy Wales, Chief Digital Impact & Sustainability Officer at BT says, “As football’s a growing sport in India, this is an incredibly important initiative for BT and BT Sport to address the very real issue of vaccine hesitancy across the country, as well as South Asian communities in the UK. BT and the British Asian Trust have already been working together on a number of different innovative tech-based projects in India to empower over 100,000 adolescent girls across the country.”
Hriday Ravindranath, MD, BT Global Portfolio & Digital, says, “BT, through our partnership with the British Asian Trust, has a great track record in bringing digital skills to young women across the country. Goal Goa is another terrific example of how we can affect change in the lives of adolescent girls through sport, with communities and community spaces opening up as they become increasingly safer through public health and awareness drives.”
With 10 million adolescent girls dropping out of school in India, Goal Goa shows us how investing in girls’ football is a step towards creating sustainable enterprise and football skills that will enable girls to begin to learn again, and then take on the next challenge fearlessly.
Watch Goal Goa on DD National
Thursday 28 October, 6.30 pm to 7 pm
Friday 29 October, 6.30 pm to 7 pm
Saturday 30 October, 6 pm to 7 pm
About Going to School
Going to School is a creative not-for-profit education trust, made in India, that makes powerful stories to transform the way children and young people learn at school, online and on national television. Going to School has a special focus on girls’ retention in school, their transition from school to sustainable enterprise of their choice, solving for Climate Change. www.goingtoschool.com
About BT India
BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. India has BT’s largest footprint outside of the UK where there are 10,000 employees working in engineering, software development, shared services, data analytics, testing, customer service, B2B enterprise and cloud solutions and cybersecurity. BT currently supports seven NGO partners across Delhi/NCR, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Mumbai through a partnership with the British Asian Trust focusing on bringing digital skills and using technology to improve the health and education of young women.
For more information, please visit www.bt.com/about.
About BT Sport
BT Sport is a group of pay television sports channels provided by BT Consumer; a division of BT Group in the United Kingdom and Ireland that was launched on 1 August 2013. BT Sport is available in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. BT Sport holds exclusive live UK and Republic of Ireland TV rights to 52 Premier League matches per season, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UFC, National League, Ligue 1, Serie A, the European Rugby Challenge Cup, the Premiership Rugby Cup, MotoGP, the FIH Hockey World League and WWE. They are also the official broadcast partner of the European Rugby Champions Cup and Premiership Rugby.
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