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Football for a cause

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The Forca Goa Foundation team won the award for ‘Best action towards Sustainable Development Goals’ at the Global Goals World Cup finals that were held in New York during the UN General Assembly. Winning this award is a huge prestige as it validates the foundation’s efforts and commitment towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The members of the foundation team were crowned winners of the India leg of the tournament in Mumbai earlier this year and got the opportunity to represent the country in the global finals.

The team consisted of Sneha Fernandes, Simone Lalwani, Avia Vas, Velanie Fernandes, Yadnya Parwar and Joyvi Fernandes and was managed by Ishita Godinho.

The event witnessed 16 teams from all over the world come together to play football for a cause. In attendance were noted actor and UNDP goodwill ambassador, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, along with daughter of the legendary footballer Pele, Kelly Nascimento and a number of delegates from the United Nations.

The Forca Goa Foundation advocates for three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, namely, Goal 3: good health and well-being, Goal 5: gender equality, and Goal 12: responsible consumption and production.

Non-executive chairman of the Forca Goa foundation and president FC Goa club, Akshay Tandon said: “We started the foundation because in our work with the football club, we quickly understood the power the sport of football has to mobilise communities in Goa. And we also knew that sustainability had to be at the core of our work, given the challenges we are faced with as a society.”

Community development manager at Forca Goa foundation, Ishita Godinho said: “The highlight was interacting with and learning about other sports for development organisations. From using sports to rehabilitate refugees to using it to save our oceans. The causes for which sports unites people is unimaginable. It felt amazing to be heard at a global platform, everyone appreciated the work of the foundation. It was inspiring to see women so passionate and determined to score goals, not just on but off the pitch as well. We are immensely grateful to JUMPNET for believing in our work and coming onboard as our principal sponsor to spread awareness about the SDGs.”

 Player on the squad, Sneha Fernandes said: “It was indeed an amazing experience being in New York as it was my first time outside India. I was very excited about the finals as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. As the event day arrived we were all set to give in our best because that was the main motive behind going there. We did pretty well and gained a lot of experience playing with other countries.”

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