Breaking the Barriers: Hard work is the key, says Manisha Kalyan

Manisha was in New Delhi on Thursday to attend an exhibition match of youth women footballers of Slum Soccer and Cequin India to raise awareness for Women in Football.

Update: 2024-06-14 06:31 GMT

The Indian women's team player Manisha Kalyan (centre) in New Delhi on June 13, 2024. (Photo credit: AIFF)

When she is not representing her country or club on the football field, Indian women's team star Manisha Kalyan is busy encouraging young girls to take up football.

The Blue Tigresses winger was in New Delhi on Thursday to do just that, as United Nations India, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands partnered with the All India Football Federation to bring the youth women footballers of Slum Soccer and Cequin India together for an exhibition match to raise awareness for Women in Football.

After attending the function, titled ‘Women in Sports: Breaking Barriers’, a delighted Manisha said more such events should be organised to encourage young girls to take up the beautiful game.

“It is important to have such events regularly. You can see so many young players with enthusiastic faces around. They are getting a platform and getting appreciated by so many people.”

Manisha, an important member of the Indian National Team, said that young aspirants get the chance to express themselves through such events. “It will help the girls showcase their skills and be watched by people. They will be encouraged to play football and will do the necessary hard work to play better,” she said.

“I feel happy that they are well aware of Indian football; some of them wanted to get photographed with me,” said Manisha with a laugh.

But then, Manisha had some advice for the young women footballers, who wanted to pursue the game seriously. “If someone is watching me play and following the game passionately, my advice to them would be to work. One thing they should remember is that consistency is the key and for that, you need to work hard. There is no alternative,” she cautioned.

Present at the event were the Ambassador of Belgium H.E. Didier Vanderhasselt, Ambassador of the Netherlands H.E. Marisa Gerards, UN Resident Coordinator in India H.E. Shombi Sharp, international archer Jayalakshmi Sarikonda, boxer Gaurav Bidhuri and many other dignitaries.

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