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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Play ball for underprivileged children

Amrutha Penumudi, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, December 21, 2012
First Published: 14:06 IST(21/12/2012) | Last Updated: 16:14 IST(21/12/2012)

A bunch of journalists and media persons, who share an immense love for sports thought of spreading that passion to people who loved to play, just like them, but did not have the means. That’s how Project Play came about two years ago. The initiative that was started by Kunaal Majgaonkar, Shail Desai, Jigna Padhiar and Shreya Bhandary, provides underprivileged children with proper training and gear to hone their talents in sports. This weekend, they plan to make things extra special by hosting an under-16, six-a-side football tournament, which will see the participation of kids from various city NGOs.

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“When we work on our stories, we come across a lot of children who have the potential to be brilliant sportsmen. However, lack of proper infrastructure denies them the opportunity to hone their talents. Instead of coming across such people and forgetting about them later, we decided to develop a project that could help them,” says Kunal Majgaonkar, who reports on sports for a city-based newspaper. The event, Kick Stars, takes place on Saturday. Participating NGOs include the Oscar Foundation, Rahee Foundation, Salaam Baalak Trust, Anstrengung United, Karnataka SA Project, Akanksha, Magic Bus and Project Play. “A total of 65 kids will play. We are even trying to get some eminent sportsmen to attend the exhibition match to further boost their confidence,” he adds.

Talking about finances, Majgaonkar says they mostly promote such events using social media. “We use our Facebook and Twitter profiles to spread word and ask for support. We end up getting a good amount of donations, thanks to the platform,” he says.

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