After being inspired by her own children, Radhika Kumar’s childhood passion for football was reborn. The 37-year-old from Nasinu in Fiji has since obtained her first ever futsal coaching certificate and now voluntarily assists Fiji Football Association (FFA) in its grassroots development programmes.
“Actually I had a passion for football when I used to watch my dad and brothers play, but you know during those days we were not allowed to play football, “ she told FFA.
“I never thought I would come back into football until my two kids grew up and started taking part in the FFA Grassroots Development Programme at FFA Academy in Vatuwaqa.”
Radhika said it all started on her son Ayaan Raj’s 13th birthday.
“He didn’t want any gifts from us, but to take him to a football development programme and we agreed,” she said.
“So we came to know about the FFA Grassroots Development Programme and brought both our kids here. Coming here in the programme I saw how passionate my kids were. My youngest one Reyansh Aarish Kumar, who is 10 years old, also joined in. That made me come and watch them train.”
From there Radhika became more and more involved.
“While watching them train I got inspired. It reminded me of my young days so I joined them. They motivated me. Me and my husband dedicated ourselves for our kids’ passion for the sport and that made me take a coaching course in futsal.
“Whatever I learned from the course I applied the tactics with my kids, and I can see they have developed very well.”
Radhika is full of gratitude for the people who have helped her achieve her goals.
“I am more thankful to my husband who is very supportive towards our involvement in football, and Northland Tailevu FA for giving me an opportunity to be part of their football family.
“I would also like to thank FFA for giving me the opportunity to be with the development officers and learn during the programme.”
But the journey has only just started for Radhika, who says age is not a barrier.
“My aim is to move towards the grassroots development coaching course and help the development of football in the country. If you have a passion for something go for it and work hard to achieve it.”