Gabriella Demetriades: It's great to instil tough spirit in young girls

Updated: Nov 25, 2019, 09:13 IST | Ashwin Ferro | Mumbai

A host of prominent personalities gathered near the Arena 31 Turf, near the Neville D'Souza ground in Bandra on Saturday to support mid-day's Ranis of Rink 2019 (ROR), an inter-school rink football tournament for girls U-16

ROR's special guest Gabriella Demetriades
ROR's special guest Gabriella Demetriades

A host of prominent personalities gathered near the Arena 31 Turf, near the Neville D'Souza ground in Bandra on Saturday to support mid-day's Ranis of Rink 2019 (ROR), an inter-school rink football tournament for girls U-16.

Football enthusiast Gabriella Demetriades, who also owns a team in the Bandra-based Roots Premier League, former India vice captain Godfrey Pereira, Mumbai Schools' Sports Association president Fr Jude Rodrigues and UK United Football Club team owner Ronnie D'Souza all cheered from the sidelines as some of the city's top female school footballers had a blast.

Canosa HS striker Bhumika Mane, who scored nine goals in three matches, receives the match ball from UK Utd FC's Ronnie D'Souza
Canosa HS striker Bhumika Mane, who scored nine goals in three matches, receives the match ball from UK Utd FC's Ronnie D'Souza

"ROR has given young girls access to physicality which is so important. Tournaments like these help girls get into a competitive sporting routine. It is up to us to instil tough qualities in our girls at a young age. I started sports when I was seven [in South Africa] and today in India I still play at 30," said Demetriades.

Former India football star Pereira stressed on the importance of rink football. "The first football that most youngsters in Mumbai play, given the dearth of open spaces in our city, is rink football. It's a very quick and skillful version and I was very impressed with the young school girls, who adapted to this version so well here today," said Pereira.

Ex-India vice captain Godfrey Pereira and Mumbai Schools Sports Association chief Fr Jude Rodrigues (right) are introduced to Bombay Scottish;
Ex-India vice captain Godfrey Pereira and Mumbai Schools Sports Association chief Fr Jude Rodrigues (right) are introduced to Bombay Scottish;

Fr Jude said ROR is a step in the right direction: "Local sports is covered well by mid-day and now it's great to see them organising tournament for girls. Being a sports administrator I know how difficult it is to host such a competition so I'd like to congratulate mid-day on a job well done." Uncle's Kitchen United FC's Ronnie, whose rink football team is among the city's top sides, said ROR has got him to think about starting a women's team. "I can probably select my players from ROR," said
Ronnie, who sponsored kitbags and restaurant vouchers for the winning teams.

Stars of the show!

Mary Immaculate Girls (Borivli)
Mary Immaculate Girls (Borivli)

Apostolic Carmel (Bandra)
Apostolic Carmel (Bandra)

Bombay Scottish (Mahim)
Bombay Scottish (Mahim)

Arya Vidya Mandir (Juhu)
Arya Vidya Mandir (Juhu)

Bai Avabai Framji Petit (Bandra)
Bai Avabai Framji Petit (Bandra)

Dhirubhai Ambani International (BKC)
Dhirubhai Ambani International (BKC)

Arya Vidya Mandir (Bandra)
Arya Vidya Mandir (Bandra)

Canossa High School (Mahim)
Canossa High School (Mahim)

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