Employ More Women as Sports Coaches in Girls' and Co-ed Schools in Delhi

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“Don’t run like a girl” 

“You shouldn’t wear shorts and show off your legs”

“What if your periods begin when you’re in the middle of a match?”

“Didn’t you hear about that coach who sexually assaulted a woman athlete?”

These are just some of the grossly discouraging things I’ve heard people say to girls who want to play sports in our country. Not every girl has the good fortune to have a supportive figure like Coach Kabir in the film "Chak De! India".

 All through school life, I felt alienated and intimidated by the presence of male coaches during the sports period. I have seen girls around me shy away from sports for the lack of an empathetic mentor and a reassuring space.

Girls need someone who understands and encourages them on the sports field, especially during their adolescence. Who better than a female sports coach, someone who has fought these battles before and triumphed, to turn the “lota belan chalanewali Bharatiya naaris” into champions!

I want to ensure that the school girls of today in Delhi have supportive faculty on the sports field too. The presence of a female sports teacher might just be the turning point in bringing hundreds of young girls out onto the sports fields. 

I’ve started this campaign to ask the Delhi Government to ensure mandatory recruitment of women as sports coaches in all its girls' and co-ed schools. Sign my petition!

How will this help?

1.       More girls will feel encouraged to play in a safe space and eventually excel at sports

2.       All-round development as well as better physical and mental health for girls, promoting positive body image and keeping depression at bay

3.       Sports teaches important life skills including teamwork, leadership, decision-making and goal setting

4.       This can reduce the chances of sexual harassment on sports fields, training camps and locker rooms

5.      It will open up job opportunities and create a career for women in sports

The Central Board of Secondary Education recently introduced a Physical and Health Education curriculum and established a mandatory sports period every day for Classes 9 to 12. If the Delhi Government hires more women as sports coaches in both co-educational and all-girls schools, more young girls will be able to do full justice to this course.

Who knows this small step may just end up nudging the next generations of Mary Kom, PV Sindhu and Phogat sisters out of their houses and into the sports arena!

Let’s get the government to take this step. By signing and sharing my petition, we can give lakhs of schoolgirls a healthier, happier childhood and the space they deserve. Because #RunLikeAGirl means running strong.

#WomenInSports #RunLikeAGirl #SheVotes2019