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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 the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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 Nikola Coster-Waldau, Film Producer along with Kelly Nascimento, daughter of the legendary footballer Pele and a number of delegates from the United Nations.

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

Akshay Tandon, non-executive Chairman of the Forca Goa Foundation and President FC Goa Club 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.”

Added Ishita Godinho, Community Development Manager at Forca Goa Foundation, “The highlight was interacting with and learning about other sports for development organisations. From using sport 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”

Sais Sneha Fernandes, a player on the squad, “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.”

Jump Networks Limited (JUMPNET), a leading technology company, came on board as the principal sponsor for the team. As a company that aligns with the Foundation’s mission and community based approach JUMPNET made it possible for the girls from Goa to experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and represent the country.

The Global Goals World Cup is the first women’s activist football tournament that leverages the power of football as a sport to drive awareness around the UN Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), and empowers young girls and women around the world to take action. The competition is not just about scoring goals in the game but also about how the SDGs are being actioned by the teams and their partners – reflecting the many ways we all can play for a better world.

The Foundation is championing good health by organising football for thousands of children across the state who also participate in workshops on nutrition and mental health. The Foundation takes gender imbalance in the sport seriously and are taking steps to improve on the number of girls and women in football through football festivals, women coaches who inspire young footballers and an exclusive U12 girls league. 

Through the Fairtrade certified footballs, the team, coaches and children are increasingly aware of the journey of the products that they consume. This is a crucial step in creating a sustainable world – one of the most urgent issues facing humanity today.