Gugan B, from Chennai, turned to football sport, to discipline himself and develop a healthy mind and body
Gugan B, 28, joined the N3 Police Boys and Girls Club in Muthialpet, George Town, Chennai, as a scoutmaster in 2011, monitoring tuition time and engaging children, 6 to 18 in conversation and sport. He’d been a student here, when he joined at 12 in 2002, as a football player.
He has a bachelor’s degree in Statistics and a coach’s license from the All-India Football Federation.
He says, “I come from an area where young people get into habits that take them off the track of studies, because there is no guidance from anyone around.” Many are in families that experience domestic violence and alcohol abuse, and several simply don’t have the funds to finish their education. “Eventually, many drop out from school, usually in class 9,” he says, adding that poor grades and no help at home with homework pushes them to quit.
He identifies students who are absent from school. “I’ll find the student and speak with them to understand the problem.” Then he’ll take them to the football ground in the locality of the club.
” A lot of kids can develop destructive behaviours. Sport is excellent for those who have dropped out or those who have taken to drugs.” He says sport takes the focus off what is wrong with their lives to what is right with their bodies.
“I’m a football player. I used to be a member of my school’s football squad. The majority of my senior football buddies used to share both the positive and negative experiences in their lives,” he remembers.
His own life was relatively easier. Though his father passed on early, and his financial life was difficult, his mother motivated to join the football team in 2012. The difference was that his parents helped keep him focus. “I went to school every day primarily to play football,” he says, laughing.
Today, what gives him satisfaction is that he can give back to the club at which he excelled both in football and at studies, especially Mathematics.
The Police Boys and Girls Clubs are supported by the Chennai Police, the HCL Foundation, and Tamil Nadu Government. The aim of the club is to guide children and adolescents towards a brighter future.
The Apollo Foundation‘s Billion Hearts Beating provided basic life support (BLS) training as a part of project Prashikshan and set up a free health camp as a part of Project Suraksha