Project front foot is a great initiative take by Victor Mills to facilitate poor children from slum area of Mumbai to sharpen their skill in cricket and play at the highest level.
Summer Kit Appeal
A successful summer appeal brought donated kit flooding into Lincoln from Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and, for the first time, Yorkshire. Steve Archer, Yorkshire Cricket Board Development Officer for West Yorkshire. Steve spread the message far and wide and was then instrumental in collecting kit from sixteen clubs in his region.
With the support of Project Front Foot regulars: Peter Mason at Collingham CC, John Ellison at Trent Bridge, Heather Gosling at the Derbyshire Cricket Board, and Peter Whitehead at the Nottingham Tennis Center things went implemented according to the plan. With the help of Liz Train and friends in Sheen Project Front foot got help from London, and we got enough flannels, shirts, bats, pads and helmets to equip an entire junior team as donation.
Gary Rook and Pat Bowers in Lincoln, Tim Gill in Reading, and Jane Bennett-Powell in London helped project front foot in collecting and storing this small mountain of clothing and kit.
Passage to India
Our friend British Airways was instrumental in getting the cricket gear in Mumbai. Thanks to the Community Development Officer, Laura Phillips.
Indian Gymkhana Ground
The key – with Project Front Foot set to start its fourth season at the Gymkhana.With a population of 22 million and growing, Mumbai does not have enough grounds to go around. Those that existed ten, twenty, thirty years ago have been sold to developers. The Indian Gymkhana at King’s Circle is the nearest ground to Dharavi slum and can be reached by children on foot in fifteen minutes. Without this ground there is every likelihood we would not have a project. We continue to have an excellent working relationship with the Gymkhana due to the support of cricket club secretary, Mr K Satya Murthy.
The fourth season of project Front foot started at the Gymkhana ground on Tuesday 6 November with a first outing for the U14s with last season’s coaches, Bhavana Patil and Harshad Bhojnaik.
Turnout in the first week was extremely good. Eager to make up for lost time, and happy to escape the exam room, the early sessions were both a joy and a revelation as some twenty new boys joined the junior section. The timing of Diwali, during our second week, brought the cancellation of two of our three sessions. The last session of the week for the U18s more than made up for those missed as they made full use of the newly opened nets. The wicket, as anticipated, proved a little feisty with the batsmen thankful for the donated helmets, arms guards, gloves and thigh pads.
Project Kit Day
The Kit Day was held on Saturday 24 November 2012. Asim Shaikh of Reality Gives helped in buying the balance cricket kits as there was shortage of some cricketing gear. On the day itself: Asim, Mayur, Chris and Victor worked manfully to kit-out the massed ranks of U14 and U18 players: the older boys were in the combined role of crowd control and fashion gurus.
Mr. Mills in his closing statement appreciated the effort of all those worked in the successfully launch of season fourth of Project front foot. Here what he wrote “I would like to thank Chris, Krishna, Asim and Mayur at Reality Gives for their help and hard work. At the Gymkhana, my thanks to Satya and his colleagues for providing beer and engaging cricket conversation over numerous evenings.”
“Special thanks go to our coaches, Bhavana and Harshad, who will carry the project forward in the coming weeks and months. For his advice, inspiration, and help with the orphanages, my sincere thanks to Suby. Thanks, too, to his driver, Chand, who indulged me as I filled the boot with countless bats, pads, and bags; and all this before he took up the challenge of our trip into the interior.”
“Finally, my thanks to Ramu for planning the trip to Tarapur. He proved an amiable companion on the long drive, ever willing to discuss cricket past or present: a trip that was all the smoother, informed and rewarding for the input of Milind Patil and Ramakant Chaudhary of Galaxy Surfactants. ”
Thanks to people like Mr. Victor Mills and his initiative of Project Front foot that poor children of Indian slums can dream of becoming next Sachin tendulakar’s or Azaruddin’s , kapil dev’s and Dhoni’s.
Source : Start of Season Report 2012-2013, Project Front Foot: UK Registered Charity No. 1144103, website www.projectfrontfoot.org