Neha Sahu’s journey as a lifelong one Chelsea the fan and teacher is inspiring to say the least. She is the co-founder of a non-governmental organization called Just for Kicks, where she uses football to educate children in what has been announced as an interesting concept of combining academic knowledge with joint curricular activities.
Neha has been a Chelsea fan since 2003, by chance when Russian-Israeli businessman Roman Abramovich completed his record takeover of the Blues. She recounted his journey as a Blues fan and set off on a memory tape to highlight some of her favorite moments.
“2003-04, what a season to become a Chelsea fan! I still remember the moment you became a fan of the club. Chelsea have conceded just 15 goals in their entire Premier League season. Frank Lampard and John Tery were already there, and in 2004 we were joined by Didier Drogba and Petr Cech. “
She also singled it out Frank Lampard for a special place, as England the midfielder was one of the biggest match winners in world football at the time. Neha also revealed that her formative days as Chelsea fans set the tone for the rest of her career as she followed her passion and ended up co-founding Just for Kicks.
“Lampard was at his peak at the time; the goals he scored were pure talent, courage and bravery. It has remained the foundation for football all my life, which is why I ended up doing what I do. “
Nehe Sahu’s love of football and Chelsea has shaped her career
Just for Kicks was launched in 2011 and achieved unwavering success, with as many as 4,400 children enrolled in the program in Chennai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and Dharwad. Using football as a medium, children across the continent learned a lot about all walks of life while Neha led the accusations.
Her idea to combine football and education proved to be a big move. It has seemingly changed the education system and paved the way for alternative ways of learning.
Speaking about her worthwhile journey, she shed light on how special the playful idea proved.
“I remember teaching math by counting numbers on a league table. I showed them where each country is on the map, talking about the game and going home to watch the matches. Within six months, their self-confidence developed and the children began to want to go to school. “
“That’s when I started Just for Kicks. I had two very clear goals – I wanted to change the education system by saying that sport should be a part of it, because it naturally helps you develop life skills. Second, the girls ’lack of interest and their fear of playing pushed me to want to make it a gender-equal space. “
In 2016, Neha was given a unique opportunity to take 10 of her students to London. She made the most of her opportunity and visited Stamford Bridge, while also making sure her students started supporting the Blues.
Finally, Neha revealed that it would be great if at some point in the future she could be invited back to Stamford Bridge as a fan.
Also read: Chelsea Celebrity Corner: Albino Gomes