KOZHIKODE: Startled by the figures of adolescents engaged in substance abuse and caught in the cyber web, Childline in Malappuram has floated a soccer team to divert their energy to sporting activities. Apart from ‘Team Childline’ participating in the major floodlight football tournaments in Malappuram, it will be organising a district-level soccer tournament for under-18 boys. “Times have changed where kids spent most of their time in playgrounds. Now, they are hooked to internet, social media or turned towards drugs.
Awareness and preaching have only little effect. Hence, we thought of setting up a soccer team to tap the energy and enthusiasm in the right direction,” says Anwar Karakkattil, district Childline coordinator.
Amidst the excitement of the sport on ground, pamphlets and leaflets of Childline will be distributed to the audience besides announcing the same at regular intervals. Razal N.K., a student of MES HSS Irumpilium in Valanchery will lead the team, and their first tournament will be kicked off at Kozhichena on April 15. Childline District Football Championship Tournament will be held this year comprising all the winners of the sub-district level. “There was no tournament for under-18 beyond the sub-district “ level.
Hopefully, this would fill more sporting activism among the children thereby bidding adieu to many bad habits,” hopes Mr Karakkattil. He laments that the issue of physical education teachers in schools being stuck with other duties adds to the woes. “Many cases confirm that PETs have no time to spend on sport,” he said. Former Kerala Santhosh Trophy captain and Malappuram Special Police deputy commandant Kurikeshu Mathew released the jersey of Team Childline on Thursday by handing it over to Mohammad Ashique Kuruniyan, the Malappuram lad who hogged headlines after being trained under Spanish soccer club, Villarreal.