Jaipur: The Keshav Suri Foundation (KSF) in association with ScoutMe and the Rajasthan Football Association organized India’s first, all-gender inclusive football match, ‘Kicking Gender Boundaries’ today at the Jayshree Periwal International School, Mahapura, Jaipur.
After thorough scouting across the country, KSF assembled a team of 10 trans players to feature in the match. This exhibition match was conceived to encourage the participation of trans individuals in the sports arena. As trans players meet with school students to battle it out on the field, the hope is to see them represent the country one day. Ms. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Indian Activist for Transgender rights in India and Mr. Aryan Pasha, Indian Transgender Bodybuilder and Activist, First Transman to become a bodybuilding champion were also present at the event.
Founder of the Keshav Suri Foundation, Mr. Keshav Suri understands the role sports can play to mobilise communities. “A Virat Kohli has been able to influence people’s eating habits and fashion choices. A country obsessed with cricket, thronged football stadiums, when Kohli and Sunil Chhetri made an appeal on social media. Sports icons have the power to change perceptions. This football match is an attempt to get the trans community an even playing field, and hopefully one day produce stars that can play the role of such icons,” he said.
Mr. Manvendra Singh, President of Rajasthan Football Association feeling enthusiastic about this endeavour said, “Diversity is the source of all the colours that make life more beautiful, enjoyable and enriching. This is the essence of football as well and as responsible football administrators, guided by the vision enunciated by FIFA, we at RFA encourage everyone to enjoy the beautiful game.”
Ayush Periwal, Director, Jayshree Periwal International School shared that the school is proud to be hosting and participating in the historic match.
Arjun Pandey, Co- founder, ScoutMe says, “As a passionate footballer I want everyone to have a safe space to enjoy and experience the magic of sport. I want this event to be a stepping stone towards uniform inclusion of everyone in not only sports but in all spheres of everyday life.”