Meet the Cute Toddlers of Shillong’s ‘Baby Football League’
Meghalaya’s very own baby football league is helping children get recognition.
Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
(This story was first published on 14 November, 2020 and is being reposted from The Quint’s archives on the occasion of Children’s Day.)
Be it FC Barcelona or the Lajong team – Shillongites are crazy about football and have a special place for the game in their hearts.
So we went to Polo Ground in Shillong to find out what ‘Baby Football League’ is all about. The second edition of the Meghalaya Baby League (MBL) was kicked off on 2 August to bring together children of ages 4 to 13 for competitive football.
A grassroots initiative of the Meghalaya Football Association, the MBL has helped little ones get recognition in the field at a young age. It has received support from the parents as well. With compulsory participation of girls in each team, the MBL is also kicking gender stereotypes off the field!
We spoke to a few parents who were very happy their kids are able to hone their skills and hopefully train to become professional players.
“We are very happy that they are conducting the sports for these babies. When we were young, we didn’t have this opportunity. They are getting it.”Parent
Anjush Marbaniang, another parent, stated the importance of outdoor activity for the kids.
“I think it’s very good because they’re getting the out times they need. The kids nowadays, they’re always on screen, they’re on mobile, the TV. Now they are getting some physical activity. They are meeting other children, they’re socialising, not only on the phone, but with one another.”
Most importantly, the Meghalaya Baby League is paving the way for equal gender representation.
“You can see a girl playing in every team. Last year what they did is that, they put in the girls but they were not playing them. This year we made it compulsory that if you don’t play a girl your points will be deducted.”Arki, CEO, Meghalaya Football Association
More power to young Ronaldos and Rapinoes of Shillong!
(The authors are students of journalism in Shillong. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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