There is always a first at Ama Ghar. In 2014, it was a football tournament. Not the American version but the globally adored version that requires eye-foot coordination beyond the ordinary. The children of Ama Ghar have been playing football for years but only the pick up, “backyard” variety that requires only a ball and respect for the game. Enter in to the picture an overly organized (Rob) Uncle from America and the children of Ama Ghar participated in their first ever organized football tournament.
However, this was no ordinary tournament. There were four team but two winners. The team that registered the most wins and goals would have to share the glory with the team that displayed the best teamwork. After three matches, Team Purple, was the slight winner with two wins and 16 points, barely edging Team Orange, who also netted two wins and 16 goals but lost on point differential, 14-9.
Yes, Team Purple displayed the style, skill and grace that gave them a share of bragging rights. But it was Team Orange who shined brightest after edging Team Green for best teamwork that the employees of Google, Apple, GE, Samsung and other team-oriented companies would be proud of.
Any of the spectators of this tournament and diehard fans of the game around the world would appreciate the way in which Team Orange unselfishly shared the ball, practiced a pass-first mentality and played defense that even the Spanish National Team would smile at. Most impressive was the way in which they shook off a 0-5 drubbing in the first game at the hands of Team Purple to rebound and trounce Team Green, 10-0, then beat a strong Team Blue, 6-2. It did not hurt that they also had the female top scorer, Laxmi.
According to Mangal, the tournament coordinator and Team Blue team member, “everyone learned a lot of good qualities from this football tournament, such as team work, good communication skills, discipline and much more.”
The Children of Ama Ghar await next year’s tournament to show off more, improved teamwork.