Complete Your Profile
Only lowercase letters and number are allowed
You can change your Role later from Edit Profile Link
Home -> Blogs -> Free Kick -> Interview with Chitra Gangadharan

Interview with Chitra Gangadharan

Sep 07, 2015 15:26

We at the football mind support the beautiful game. Apart from Men’s football, the football mind equally looks to promote women’s football in the best way possible. Hence, our this week’s women’s football personality is India’s women football National team Goal keeper coach Mrs Chitra Gangadharan. Chitra Ma’am is also an A-License holder of the AIFF instructor's course and has an immense eye for talent spotting. We caught up with her for an interview.

1) How did you begin your involvement in women’s football?

In my school days I was initially involved in Cricket and used to play as a wicketkeeper. Because of my wicket keeping skills of diving for catches our football coach insisted on transforming me into a goalkeeper. 1975 was the year when Women’s football was introduced in this country and back in the day we could be called an initial contingent who represented Indian women’s football. Mr. Raman, former 1948 Olympiad, was one of the main personalities who spotted my talent for the game. This Beautiful game took me to become a National Player, captain of National team and an honour to be a part of prestigious All Asian Star team . I choose to become a coach did my Dip in Coaching football was the first women to become Qualified coach in India. Currently working for Sports Authority of India.

2) What is your take on women's football in India?

Since its introduction in 1975, India still has to go a long way.we were holding the No 2 position in Asia during 80s. Now we are yet to reach. Unless more academy based footballing institutions for women in India who aspire to play the game will emerge, the scenario will remain the same as it is now.. Academies should plan to club academic education with technical training for women footballers which is good for making appealing personalities out of these players. Ex.,soccer school for girls free of cost.

3) Challenges in Women’s football in India?

Indian women’s football growth is now stagnant. Though the upcoming aspiring players have a lot of talent and ability to become special but there are still certain stratas where we need to work on. Employment opportunities for girls in most of the states is nil. Unlike women, men get jobs easily. Also, there is an immense lack of education for girls. This is now slowly changing though. But a lot of talented players in India who are also national level players don’t get an opportunity to give a trial abroad due to financial problems or they have no clue how to reach the place. Most of the girls who have been playing at foreign land have clubbed education and sports. I am proud of them because they are the product for us to introduce about Indian Women Football players. I recall the days when Team from England came to India to play matches with Indian women football team and we won all the matches!

Apart from this there is no continuity of game time or training camps for girls. There aren’t any leagues or other club competitions for girls here in India, hence they at least need regular game time to play and develop as players. It would be great if there is a criteria for all the elite clubs to have a women’s team too as they have under-19 or under-15 team for respective clubs.


4) Do you have any success stories from coaching an athlete?

I started my coaching career training boys at Kanteerava Stadium. I feel its the players who should name the coach. When a player reaches elite stage, many persons starting from the school PET till the National coach would have been a part of his or her successful playing career.

After my playing career, I initially started training boys and later moved on to coaching girls. There have been many mesmerizing talents that I’ve trained. It has been a rewarding experience. I have trained many players who have played for Karnataka State team. To me I feel my success is not limited to make anybody an elite player, but also try to ensure they have a secured life as there is no employment opportunity for women players in Karnataka. With the contacts I have I could get them jobs in various schools in Bangalore ensuring they are earning a good amount as salary.

Being a head coach of BUFC Mens team, I worked for promotion of the team from C division to A division league of BDFA of KSFA. I have proved many wrong who were of the opinion that women cannot train a mens team.

5) What is your take on the grassroots initiative?

As a women Committee convener of women football in KSFA we are developing the game foe women. Like our National team in the 80s, Karnataka women’s football team also enjoyed being joint winners in Federation cup , 2nd in Inter zone, and one of the favourites in the Nationals till 1990. Making an effort to revive the game in Karnataka, currently we are training a lot of under-14 girls in our districts too. We are helping in the development of their personalities as well as nurturing their talent. Amoolya, Paromita are Grass root leaders holding D license from AIFF while Aswitha is AIFF D license holder who will be taking care of Grass roots. More to be done!

6) The future of Women’s football in India?

India boasts a lot of talent in women’s football. A lot of activities are going on for the development, but they should be channelized properly. Though talent is immense but there should be good management of working in women’s football. We require qualified persons to guide them through the development and training program. The capacity to develop the game throughout the country is important. Talent is available all over the country. Various factors are responsible for the development of women’s football in few states. The way FIFA is making an effort to promote football in countries where football activities are low, AIFF should also make an effort to promote football in the states where women’s football is not taken care of. Fielding u-16, u-18 and senior teams for Nationals should be mandatory for all the states. Women’s football should also be marketed and promoted effectively the way ISL has done for Men’s football. Having a league for women’s football would be a great boost. Though there is potential, other aspects block the development of talented players. Lack of employment in some regions is one main issue which should be changed. AIFF and GOI should take initiative in this matter as far as women’s football is concerned. We will certainly move upwards in FIFA ranking in the near future.

About my family

My elder daughter Amoolya Kamal, has a PG MBA in financial management and chose to be a football player and represented the national women’s football team. She’s been part of the Asian games and also won the SAFF championship gold medal.

My younger daughter Apoorva Kamal started her playing career in school but chose to become a Dentist and is doing her Masters to specialize in Endodontic.

My husband Mr.Kamal, secretary BUFC and manager of BUFC is taking lot of initiative to develop football and is supporting many footballers. 

Live updates
Follow the SEPT campaign
Louis van Gaal: Manchester United sack manager
Keylor Navas has the best goals/match ratio of the last 20 seasons at Real Madrid
Will Hughes makes his first Derby start since the opening day of the season.
After 20 games, Zidane's 80% win percentage is higher than any of Real Madrid's previous managers.
After 20 games, Zidane's 80% win percentage is higher than any of Real Madrid's previous managers.
Chinese Women's National Football Team have qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Australian Women's National Football Team have qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Swedish Women's National Football Team have qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Juventus coach Allegri has ended Chelsea Rumors by stating he will be wil Juventus Next season
"I'm asking Roma to do the 'impossible' against Real" - Spalletti
Sweden Women's team defeated Switzerland's team 1 - 0 in the second match of the UEFA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Norway Women's team defeated Netherlands Women's team 4 - 1 in the second match of the UEFA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Arsenal's Petr Cech Out For up to 4 weeks
Netherlands Women's team defeated Switzerland's team 4 - 3 in the UEFA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Invite Friends
Protege Sports is better with friends!

Please share updates related to sports only.