Jharkhand-Based NGO Yuwa Wins Laureus ‘Sport for Good’ Honour
Yuwa bags India’s third prize at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards – all in the ‘Sport for Good’ category.
Yuwa, a Jharkhand-based NGO which works for girl empowerment, won the Laureus Sport for Good award on Sunday, 17 February, becoming the third Indian entry to bag the honour.
The NGO, founded by Americans Franz Gastler and Rose Thomson Gastler in 2009, runs a football program covering 450 girls in rural Jharkhand.
Four girls out of the 450 – Hima, Nita, Radha and Konika – received the award on behalf of Yuwa at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco.
Yuwa’s prize follows the success of Magic Bus, which won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. India’s first Sport for Good title had been bagged in 2004, jointly-shared between the Indian and Pakistan cricket teams for resuming bilateral ties despite tensions between the two countries.
Yuwa’s story moved many in Monaco, during the gala weekend to celebrate sport – graced by some of the greatest names in world sport.
Present on-stage to hand the award to the four representatives were former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, and five-time Olympic champion swimmer Missy Franklin.
The girls even got a chance to kick the football around with the legendary coach ahead of Sunday’s announcement.
“They are good technically and want to play together. We used to say football is a sport played by 11 selfish individuals but they play like a team and are highly motivated,” said Wenger about the girls.
American Franklin, who announced a shock retirement at the age of 23 in December, too, was inspired by the story of the Indian girls.
“It is just so inspiring to hear their story and meet them. I am glad I could spend some time with them.”
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