Helping to develop kids in India

In line with a shared ambition to promote teamwork, responsibility and equal opportunity, SKF started the Meet the World pre-tournaments in 2007. They give children, who might not otherwise be able to afford to travel to Sweden, the chance to come to Gothenburg and be part of the Gothia Cup.

We caught up with Seema Suman, SKF’s Corporate Social Responsibility program manager responsible for the company’s Sports Education Program in India. Seema has been working at SKF for 4 years and has been involved in SKF Meet the World / Gothia Cup events each year.

How many times has a team from India participated in Meet The World / Gothia Cup?
“Eleven Meet the World teams have travelled to Sweden to participate in the Gothia Cup so far.

Why did you choose to be part of SKF Meet the World / Gothia Cup this year?
“SKF Meet the World and Gothia Cup are the platforms to showcase the hard work of the entire year in front of a global audience. Every student on our Sports Education Program aims to be part of the team that gets to travel to Sweden and represent India in the Gothia Cup.”

Why did you choose the relevant age group?
“This year we are sending two SKF Meet The World teams to the Gothia Cup from India: Under 12 Girls & Under 14 Boys. Participation gives the children the opportunity to travel across the globe, create experiences, learn tactics, understand and observe cultures irrespective of religion, race and background. It gives a feeling of unity and equality, which is a very important aspect of human rights.”

What are you looking forward to most about SKF Meet The World / Gothia Cup?
“Four main things: An equal and fair chance to display football skills, a platform for learning and knowledge sharing, a global exposure for our community kids and an experience of a lifetime for every young footballer.”

How does SKF Meet the World / Gothia Cup help to promote teamwork, equal opportunity and/or responsibility?
“Football is a sport that requires a perfect combination of physical & mental alertness, and collaboration to perform. The players learn verbal and non-verbal communication to collaborate during the game. This enhances their team spirit, makes them more responsible and supportive towards one another. Regular practice sessions and self-awareness programs make the players more disciplined. They overcome defeat and learn from their mistakes.”

The bottom line is that our program and the Gothia Cup support the holistic development of children and make them better future citizens.

How big is soccer in your country?
“Football is a popular sport in India, India is currently ranked 102 among the FIFA World Rankings. Every year lot of new players join football academies and sign up for formal training with a desire to take football as a passion and a career. Many large companies, such as SKF, Reliance and Tata, have started football training programs for kids in the community.

It’s World Cup year this year! How is this being celebrated in India?

“The FIFA Football World Cup 2018 is in the air and is attracting a large number of Indian players and fans to be a part of it. India is not among the teams participating in the FIFA World Cup, but huge numbers of Indians are visiting Russia to witness the football extravaganza live. According to one estimate, fans from India are buying more World Cup tickets than their English peers who are known the world over to be the biggest football fans.”

2018 SKF Meet the World teams from Asia
China: Girls 12
India: 
Girls 12
India: Boys 14
Indonesia: Boys 15
Malaysia: Boys 14

SKF Meet the World pre-tournaments
• Started in 2007
• Arranged each year in approx. 25 countries where you find SKF
• 42 countries have participated
• 27 000 players
• 3 500 of whom SKF have brought to Gothenburg – all expenses paid
For more information about SKF Meet the World, visit meet-the-world.com

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