The player-turned-coach will be shy to tell you his story, but his aggression on the ground will leave you spellbound. He narrates it with the excitement of a football lover. “I used to roam around streets doing nothing great,” said Virendra who once saw the football ground at Slum Soccer Bokhara Centre and fell in love with it.
Fortunate to have the support of his family for his education and football, he started playing. Deciding to be a player is easy, but making it a practice is a challenge. A sport requires great stamina and consistency. He overcame his habits of addictive materials & gambling for staying fit.
Virendra’s excitement can be seen when he exclaims, “The coaches & mentors in Slum Soccer create players out of ordinary people along with making them better human beings!”
He recollects his training days where his mentors would preach what they practiced. It is said that people learn it better when they have a living example in front of them. “A cycle completes when a player becomes a coach & trains more people,” he says. Teaching is twice learning and for a sportsperson, every opportunity is a chance to learn something new.
Increasing the fascination of players by involving them in fun games & group activities is his way of making practice more interesting. Assurance to female players of their safety is a challenge that he has conquered well. He expanded the team by encouraging players to bring their friends to the ground. The people who were once roaming aimlessly are now playing with passion.
“Concepts like gender equality and leadership are not to be taught, but practiced. You evolve only when others look up to you as an inspiration. We learned while observing our coaches. I aim to grow in experiences and life lessons so that I, too, contribute to creating better lives,” he humbly shares.
There is an amazing thrill in playing the National Tournaments. It is a great chance to play for your team and widen your scope of thinking. Virendra says, “There is a lot to learn. There are strict guidelines, timings & rules involved. You need to put in your best efforts.”
He strongly believes in formal education & its benefits. “Sports and education can go hand in hand. Study well and play even better. Don’t stop, go ahead.” Virendra practices what his mentors have taught him – to help others grow even if it means to stay behind.
There is a lot of learning involved in the steps that take one from being a player to a coach. A person turns into a player and a coach is born out of him as he grows in his game.
Lucky is a man who lives his passion; He is the luckiest whose passion is his life goal. A lover of football, Virendra is living his dream and touching more and more lives to live their passions. For him, Soccer has been a turning point and everything has, since then, turned into his life goal.