A Journey From Mohali To St. Petersburg – Ananya Kamboj

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ananya kamboj

I am Ananya Kamboj from Mohali, Global Citizen and a 15-year-old girl from a humble background with myriad dreams twinkling in my eyes. I happen to be an ambassador of football, peace and youth empowerment.

I wish to take the spirit of hope, togetherness, and inspiration to millions of children across India and South Asia and make this world a better place to live in.

For the last three years, I have been selected to represent India as a Young Journalist at the global Football for Friendship (F4F) social program.

Football for Friendship is an annual International Children’s social program that unites children of different nationalities, different genders, and different physical abilities.

The goal of the project 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, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, and honor.

In 2018, I was invited to Moscow as a special guest at the world premiere of my book ‘My Journey from Mohali to St. Petersburg‘, an anthology of twenty-one stories.

These stories are based on the fundamental human values that I have learned during the program. It is a wonderful platform to celebrate friendship through the unifying power of football.

The book was officially released by Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors as part of the 6th season of the Football for Friendship (F4F) international children’s social program organized by Gazprom, an official partner of FIFA and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

I was awarded the best young journalist award for my effort in spreading the values of the program through this book.

When most people talk about a school curriculum, they think about math, science, social studies, and language courses. Seldom do I hear or read about sports as being part of the curriculum.

The problem is that the neglect of teaching sports in schools is hurting our youth and causing problems in society. If a person has never learned any sport, how is she or he able to discern the difference between victory and defeat? That is basically the essence of sports education.

ananya kamboj awarded as best young journalist award

The book presents a holistic picture of the good life, which transcends the prevalent narrow understanding of what constitutes success, fulfillment, and happiness in life.

It offers a fresh interpretation of sports through human values which collectively enrich the different dimensions of life. A harmonious realization of all these values helps us grow as truly and fully human persons.

The book should appeal to all those who are concerned about questions like how to be a good person?, how to live a good life? and how to help create a good society?

I believe that education, sports and childhood character development do go hand in hand.

I was invited by the United Nations twice to share my views on Football for Friendship.  

Last year in Madrid, the Football for Friendship was awarded the GUINNESS WORLD RECORD® certificate for uniting 57 nationalities in a football training session. This was verified by Anna Louise Orford, a Guinness World Records Adjudicator.

I became a goodwill ambassador of BRICS countries and participated in various other projects, including Girl Up, Girls with Impact, Lean In India, SDGs For Children and She’s Mercedes.

I am changing the world.

Article Credits: Ananya Kamboj