22nd May 2017: Ananya Kamboj, an 8th standard student from Vivek High School, Mohali, has been selected to represent India as a Young Journalist at the global FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP (F4F) social program to be held in Russia. The F4F program, supported by Gazprom and FIFA, focuses on the development of children’s football, fostering tolerance and respect for different cultures and nationalities among children from different countries. India joins the program for the first time and will participate alongside over 60 other countries.
Ananya was shortlisted as the F4F Young Journalist from India after participating in a contest conducted by F4F supported by Mission XI Million, programme of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 that has a vision of making football the sport of choice among the youth by bringing football to 11 million kids. The contest saw entries from over 20 cities. Ananya’s winning entry spoke of the role of football in ‘enabling conversations’, which could help soothe tensions and foster engagement between countries and people across the globe.
Ananya will join Young Journalists from around the world in St. Petersburg, Russia in July 2017. The Young Journalists will take an active part in coverage of the activities of the F4F program as part of the International Children’s Press Center. Ananya also has the mandate of spreading awareness on the Nine Values (friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour) of the F4F program.
In St. Petersburg, Ananya will join participants from around the world in a discussion about how Olympic and Paralympic athletes turn the nine values into reality, how they achieve victories and support many people with their help. She will be joined by Sujal Kahar, the 12 year old Mumbai lad who was selected as the Young Footballer from India, who will play a match with an international team of his peers in St. Petersburg. Both of the participants will also get to watch the final match of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 at the St. Petersburg Stadium.
Ananya is a sports enthusiast, writer and avid communicator. A Minerva Punjab FC and FC Barcelona fan, she enjoys playing football and basketball just as much as she loves reading a good book. A firm believer in the power of friendships, she says that ‘Education and sports play an important role in achieving peace.’
The FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP (F4F) international children’s social programme is implemented by Gazprom since 2013. The programme unites children of different nationalities, different sexes, different physical abilities. Friendship, peace and equality are the key values promoted by participants of the FOOTBALL FOR FRIENDSHIP. The goal of the programme is the development of children’s football, fostering tolerance and respect for different cultures and nationalities among children from different countries. The key values that the participants support and promote are friendship, equality, justice, health, peace, loyalty, victory, tradition and honor.
The Global Day of Football and Friendship is celebrated in more than 60 countries around the world, including Russia, the United States, Brazil, India, China, Germany, France, Algeria, Syria, Iraq, Japan and other countries. Over 400 thousand people were involved in the festive events. In different years the Global Day of Football and Friendship Day was supported by hundreds of players including the legend of world football Franz Beckenbauer (Germany), one of the best striker in the history of the African continent Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire), the famous defender of Real Madrid Michel Solgado (Spain), ex-player of London Arsenal Andrey Arshavin (Russia), former captain of the national team Vitor Bahia (Portugal) and other stars from the world of football.