Launch of Coaching Boys into Men in Asia
Well-known cricket coaches and players in Mumbai, India are beginning to educate boys to treat girls with respect and recognize that violence is wrong, thanks to a new program that is based on lessons learned through the Family Violence Prevention Fund's (FVPF's) groundbreaking Coaching Boys into Men initiative. The new Parivartan pilot program launched in India on March 8 - International Women's Day.
It has trained two dozen coaches and more than a dozen community mentors in Mumbai to take gender equity messages to the hundreds of boys learning cricketing skills from them. Using a variety of tools and methods, these cricket coaches have been taught to identify 'teachable moments' on the field, and to point out inappropriate language and behavior and the need to change it. Parivartan will eventually be implemented in 50 private and government-aided schools and communities across Mumbai.
"I reluctantly joined the programme last August," said one of Parivartan's master coaches, Nagesh Thakur. "But I am glad I did. I have always concentrated only on teaching kids how to hold the bat or throw the ball. I somehow accepted that boys use foul language on the ground, I never thought I can stop that and instill some values in them."
Athletic coaches play an extremely influential and unique role in the lives of young men, often serving as parents or mentors to the boys they coach. Because of these special relationships, coaches are poised to positively influence how young men think and behave both on and off the field. From speeches to the team, to practice sessions, to casual conversation, these coaches have many opportunities to share their philosophies with athletes.
"Many girls and women in India are exposed daily to several forms of violence, from routine 'cat calling' and sexual harassment to sometimes-fatal physical beatings at home," said Brian O'Connor, FVPF Director of Public Communications "Parivartan will help address these negative behaviors and attitudes. We hope to reach over 1,000 boys with this innovative new program."
The FVPF developed Parivartan with the International Center for Research on Women, Mumbai School Sports Association, Apanalya and Breakthrough. The work was made possible by a grant from the NIKE Foundation.
The FVPF launched Coaching Boys into Men in 2001. Learn more.