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CARE India joins LEH LEH Sports to promote sports as a medium of social change
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New Delhi: Myths about women went for a toss as over 100 people participated in a unique football tournament, `Kick for a Cause', staged by LEH LEH sports in collaboration with CARE India. The primary objective of this initiative was to focus attention on prejudices against women in connection with the forthcoming International Women's Day.
 
Eight teams – comprising three boys and three girls each and captained by a girl – participated in the fun-filled amateur football tournament at the Mini Football Ground in south Delhi's Vasant Kunj yesterday to drive home the message that myths against women  are unfounded and unacceptable.
 
The myths that were shattered in celebration of women were ``It's Man's World'', "Girls Belong in Marriage, not School'', ``She Asked for it'', ``Women are too Emotional and Soft'' and ``Women can't Lead.''  To raise awareness among the participants and the viewers, players kicked these myths – which hung in the goal nets as stickers – during penalty shootouts.
 
The event was organised by CARE India, a leading humanitarian organisation focused on ending poverty through women's empowerment, in collaboration with LEH LEH Sports, a venture focused on increasing access to participation in sports opportunities in the Delhi NCR. It was part of CARE India's iCARE campaign to engage one million youth in support of the cause. 
 
"The football tournament involving women as team members and captains was a powerful symbolic gesture to highlight myths fostered by male-dominated society against women. There is no rationale for the perpetuation of myths about women who knock them down daily," said Alka Pathak, Chief Advocacy and External Relations Officer. "There was fun and joviality on the ground, but it was also accompanied by the message of women's empowerment. It went well with the participants and viewers alike. We have sent a positive message that women are capable of doing anything," said Pathak. 
 
 "Kick for a Cause is an initiative created by LEH LEH Sports in 2011 to use sports as a medium for powerful change. We were delighted to partner with CARE India in staging Kick for a Cause 2012 to promote the cause of women's empowerment", said Siddharth Pandey, the founder of LEH LEH Sports.
 
The sporting event hosted eight teams – Myth Busters United, Last Minute Stitch, CARE Unlimited, Underdogs, Temptations, Empowering Athletics, DU Force, and Daredevils. All age groups and skill levels played for the cause.
 
Teams were mainly formed by the volunteers and ambassadors of iCARE, which has already created a buzz among students in schools and colleges around the city.
 
"It is a good way for development and creating focus on social issues. People come out with only suggestions with regard to social issues; we need solutions," said Akanksha, a student of National Open University, who was a member of the team Underdogs. "We should play more such games to spread the message."
 
Nishita Kankariya, an iCARE Ambassador and second year student from Kirorimal College, said, "I have joined the programme because I want to empower my fellow students. Most of the boys in Delhi University believe that girls cannot play such games. Today even that myth has been shattered." 
 
Usha, a young sprightly girl, was declared the player of the tournament for scoring the maximum number of goals. Manvi Abrol was awarded the medal for best sportsmanship. All the participants were given certificates and medals.

 
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