BIS #7157 DB Naigaon’s Gauri Gurav Represents India at SAFF U16 Women’s Championship

By Fr Joaquim Fernandes and Mrs Dorothy Fernandes for BISMumbai

On 26 March 2024, it was announced that Ms Gauri Gurav, a student from Don Bosco High School, Naigaon, had been selected for the U16 National Women's Football team, for the upcoming South Asian Football Federation Women’s Championship in Lalitpur-Nepal from 1 to 10 March 2024. It is a proud moment for the school and the district as she is the first girl from Palghar District to represent India in football.

The Principal, Fr Anthony Fonseca, said, “The school has encouraged pupils to play sports as part of its goal to support their all-round holistic development, not just for physical fitness but also as a means of pursuing a vocation.”

The road to the selection for the national team wasn't an easy one. Gauri’s  Mother Mrs Ashwini Gurav recalls the time they couldn’t afford to buy her a football kit. Her only option was to assist her daughter's goal to compete at the national level in football. The family is proud of the achievement and grateful to Don Bosco for promoting sports culture.

The School Football coach, Mr Emmanuel Olukunle Ilo, speaks of  Gauri as a very focused and dedicated team player. She captained the Under 16 School football team for the District Level Football Tournament in 2023 and won the DSO Champions Trophy for our school and they also won the Subroto Mukerjee Cup this year.

Gauri expressed her gratitude by saying “I am thankful to God and my parents, for their constant support and care. I am very grateful to my coaches, for nurturing the talent within me. I’m ecstatic to be playing for my nation today.” She also expresses gratitude to the school, to the Western India Football Association and the Palghar District Football Association for their ongoing encouragement and assistance.”

Fr. Joaquim Fernandes, the Vice-Principal and Sports Director, said “Our school has a good sports training programme to help primary and secondary school students to improve their physical and mental health. There are regular sporting competitions during the school breaks, and a sports curriculum designed which is interdisciplinary and collaborative.”  

The young footballers departed for Nepal on February 27. The school wishes Ms Gauri Gurav all the very best as she continues to shine at the National level. She is indeed an inspiration to all her peers.