Madhusudan Maumder first came across Premier Skills training when he was playing for United Sports Football Club, in the Kolkata Premier Division.
When he realised that Premier Skills would give him the opportunity to train children from marginalised communities, he was keen to take part.
“I have always wanted to work for a social cause and an opportunity to serve the society through football was really very exciting to me.”
Through the course of his training from 2014-16 he got an opportunity to work with some of the most marginalised children of Kolkata. The families of these children were often in vulnerable positions which had resulted in many of the students to take up crime or anti-social activities.
Following his training, Madhusudan organised a number of initiatives in his community, including a ‘Baby League’ at Madhyamgram where around 288 children participated, both girls and boys, between the ages of 8 – 11 years.
He also carries out football training at Barasat Home Orphanage three times a week for boys between 10-18 years to provide them an avenue to participate in co-curricular activities.
Madhusudan learnt a great deal from his Premier Skills training, which he now puts into practice; from ensuring maximum participation, to coming across as approachable to the children he coaches. He even forms mixed teams, particularly when working with children aged 6-12.
It wasn’t always easy for Madhusudan to implement the learnings from his Premier Skills training. He encountered difficulties when he began to train girls between the ages of 12-18, as initially they were not open to participating or talking to him freely, he felt there was always a barrier because he was a male coach.
To improve this, he decided to kick off with ice-breaking activities that would help the girls to ease themselves in slowly and become more comfortable in the sessions. They gradually became more engaged and started to enjoy the activities.
“The positive change was very visible and increasing participation from girls was a testimony to the fact.”, he said.
He has also carried out training sessions at Dhruba Ashram Observation and Special Home, which is a juvenile centre for children who have committed crimes. He has noticed a positive change in the attitudes of many of the boys and some have discussed the positive changes that they have experienced through the training.
“Kamal Biswas was a 17-year-old resident of this home who had been caught for stealing. After having conversations with him, I found out that many boys of his age in his community have resorted to petty crimes, including many of his friends.. The training had a positive impact on him amongst other activities at the home. He has recently been given bail and returned home to his parents and started school again.”
In March 2018, helped to open the Future Stars Soccer Foundation in March 2018 where he trains coaches, who are 18-30 years old, using Premier Skills’ methodology. He places the best coaches in rural areas at local clubs or sports associations, so that they can work with children in the local area - 50 coaches have been trained so far.