Jharkhand girls ready for Spanish football challenge

New Delhi, June 28 (IANS) Beating all odds, a bunch of 18 under-14 girls from Jharkhand are on their way to Spain for two football tournaments – the Donosti Cup and the Gasteiz Cup.

The girls may not have heard the names of Xavis, Piques or the Casillas, but with dreams in their eyes, they have the burning desire to make their country proud.

The man behind the team is Franz Gastler, an American who has been living in India and has been running an NGO, YUWA, in Jharkhand for the last four years.

Team Yuwa, as the squad will be known, will be the only representation from India in the Donosti Cup, that will be participated by 30 countries.

Team Yuwa left for Spain, Thursday, and their first stop will be at San Sebastian for the Donosti Cup, from July 1-6. Then they will travel to Madrid to visit the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, home of soccer giants Real Madrid.

The girls will next travel to Vitoria-Gasteiz for the Gasteiz Cup. After competing, they will return to Madrid for their flight back to Kolkata on 13th July 2013.

For Gastler, who came to India as an English teacher, it has been a tough task to put a team for the Spanish trip.

“I take this opportunity to thank all our sponsors including Gamesa for making the dreams of these young girls who come from underserved backgrounds come true, I strongly feel that our team would go further and create an established benchmark in the global arena,” said Gastler, who is the executive director and founder of Yuwa.

The team will be sponsored by Gamesa Wind Turbines Pvt. Ltd.

“We are proud to sponsor Yuwa’s initiative spearheading rural upliftment in Jharkhand, which leads the country in child marriages, human trafficking and naxalite insurgency. We are confident that our association with Yuwa will further strengthen our relationships with sports in particular and Spain in general,” said Ramesh Kymal, Chairman and Managing Director, Gamesa India.

TEAM Yuwa: Sharda Kumari, Chanda Kumari, Meena Kumari, Soni Kumari, Sunita Kumari, Urmila Kumari, Sushma Kumari, Renu Kumari, Asha Kumari, Supriya Kumari, Laxmi Kumari, Kusum Kumari, Pushpa Kumari, Punam Kumari, Rinky Kumari, Neeta Kumari, Shivani Toppo, Manisha Tirkey

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