Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at a football foundation? Well, it isn't far from what happens at any other, but rather built along the lines of using sport to bring communities together. A football foundation brings about engagement within different sections of society through sport and discipline. The Chelsea Football Club Foundation, which visited the city on a week-long engagement, hit the streets of Mumbai to achieve just that.
Chelsea legend and global ambassador Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink visited Mumbai's Dharavi slums for an interactive session with kids from backward communities. Jimmy's journey to the very top made him an ideal educator for the young kids from Mumbai's Dharavi slum.
The now ever-smiling, bejeweled character once engaged in a career as a hoodlum on the streets of Amsterdam, but now enjoys the riches of life. Jimmy credits his change in fortune to his prodigious talent as a footballer, which helped him make it to the very top of elite professional football.
Football took Jimmy in a direction that few from a similar background have managed to navigate. At an age where the potential to influence is at its maximum, having Jimmy enter one of the country's biggest slums to impart the values inspired by his story to the underprivileged youth of Mumbai's Dharavi would surely have a significant effect.
It was indeed a refreshing change to see Jimmy, who is otherwise suited up in a Sky Sports studio but now in shorts and a T, participate in an interactive coaching clinic with 16- to 18-year-old kids, both boys and girls.
"To have the opportunity to witness the challenges kids from the area face on a daily basis in terms of participation in sports, education, and basic amenities was the highlight of the evening," Jimmy was quoted as telling the Free Press Journal.
In his role as the Chelsea global ambassador, Jimmy expressed excitement about his role to promote a club that he still harbours great affection for.
I've always loved Chelsea. My time with Chelsea has been a very important part of my career, so the connection will always be there. Being an ambassador for Chelsea is a proud feeling, he said.
"We've tried to get in touch with as many fans as possible all over the world. India is a place where we have a lot of fans, so we want to interact with them, understand their needs, and give them more of Chelsea Football Club. I've enjoyed coming to India. It's been a really good experience," he added.
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