| Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 13 Dec 2016 | Asia Samachar |
By Anandpreet Kaur
Like her father, Asheesh Kaur is an avid Liverpool supporter. And like her father, the 11-year old also actively plays football.
It has taken her somewhere. Asheesh is one of the 32 kids who made the cut for an all-paid for football coaching trip to Barcelona, Spain.
Asheesh and her sister Kanchen Kaur, 10, were among the 72 boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 12 that made it to the second round selection in the Kem Bola Astro. Both play for Supergirls, an all-girls club run by the Subang Jaya Community Sports Club (SJCSC).
She left with the rest of the team for the intensive 10 day football training at the football school FCB Escola.
Their dad, Jagdeesh Singh, is one of the coaches for the Supergirls. His third and youngest daughter, five-year old Sadhanaa Kaur has also joined the team.
Asked why they took their children for football, Jagdesh says: “We had always believed that our biggest challenge for all 3 of our daughters was to provide them with the right balance of experiences.”
Whom does Asheesh support? By default, Liverpool, says her mother Jasbir Kaur.
“Ingrained by the father from birth. I wished I still had the video where instead of singing nursery rhymes, he was singing the Liverpool managers’ names to them,” she adds.
EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW:
How did it all start? What sparked her interest?
We had always believed that our biggest challenge for our 3 daughters was to provide them with the right balance of experiences. Balance between being sociable, seeing the value of being a contributor to society, being spiritual and at ease with themselves, at being vocal but also obedient to those that matter, at being hungry with knowledge and also physically active with games or sports. Basically, a balance of emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual.
We figured that all 3 had to be exposed to some form of sports, some form of music, and some form social awareness. For sports, we tried tennis, we tried athletics and then football. Gender was never considered when choosing these sports.
Is it from her fathers interest in football?
Yes, I must admit my personal passion for the sport played a part. But we were looking at any team oriented sports. And we were very attracted to the idea that playing football would teach them about gender equality, with football being a male dominated sport. This was very important. This is part of the balance that I talked about earlier.
How did his passion for football generate interest in the girls?
I didn’t really do much. We found a volunteer group that does wonders for grassroot football right here in our neighborhood, Subang Jaya. The Subang Jaya Youth Sport Club had just started a new all girls team and both my elder girls fit in right away. The coaches and volunteers there were superb in instilling the basics to all the girls. Then, through some twist of fate, I was given an opportunity to coach this very team.
What motivates her?
Both her mom and me try our best but really its the team of girls. They call themselves the Supergirls. And the volunteers coaching all of them do a great job with providing the platform for tournaments and competitions. Really exciting for the both our girls.
Was there a time when she wanted to give up? And if there was a time she did how did you guys (the family) help her through it and motivate her once again?
There are times when both the girls get lazy. You know, the normal stuff like when their cousins are around or when they just want to laze around. This is where the balance comes in again. We try to instill values for them to take commitments seriously. If you’ve committed to the training that weekend, you’ve got to follow through with the commitment. So, it’s not so much that they’re going there for the training, but instilling the habit of keeping your commitments, be it to the coaches or to their teammates. And that’s how they stay motivated. I’d like to think that’s the disciplining part of it.
How did you manage the training schedules?
We took turns every weekend to drive them to their training. We encourage them, if not force them, to get out and sweat out in the park every evening. Don’t need to play football but some physical activity is required every evening.
How did her passion for football influence her sisters? As young kids have they been surrounded by football loving family members?
Both elder sisters took up the sport at the same time. The sibling rivalry and competition keeps them both on their toes. We still don’t know if firing up the sibling rivalry is the right approach. I personally would prefer if there was no competition between them but it’s only natural I guess. Their youngest is now compelled to join, she wants to be part of the fun. We’ll see where this goes. But she can choose her own when the time comes as well.
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