India: Staying fighting fit

Aarti Ramswarup Kori is a Bronze Award holder from India. She is currently studying at Siddharth College, Churchgate, Mumbai, where she first embarked on her Bronze Award journey with the International Award for Young People (IAYP) Programme, and began to change the ideas of those all around her…

Being part of IAYP, Aarti came to understand that as a young women it is important to stay active and fit, and credits the Award with giving her a love for physical fitness. In 2011 she also came across Naz’s Young People’s Initiative Programme – a sports and development programme for adolescents and youth, when she was in Globe Mill Passage School, Mumbai. She loves netball and in 2015, she became a Community Sports Coach with the charity and by 2017 was selected as a Junior Coach. However, teaching netball to others wasn’t as simple as it might seem…

Aarti Kori - Indian participant

Aarti is hailed as a change maker by those around her as she worked hard to change the mind-set of her family members. Until now girls had not been allowed to play sports or to wear sports kit in her family.

However, over the years, family members have started supporting Aarti and her sister, who are both interested in playing cricket and taking part in sports. Aarti has increased her independence and now plays an imperative role in the decisions that the family makes.

This year, Aarti was promoted as a Senior Coach in the YPI programme. She takes her role as a Senior Coach very seriously and is a keen learner filled with curiosity. Prior to the pandemic, she delivered a 10 month programme with girls and boys and has been a role model for more than 850 girls, teaching them netball in Mumbai.

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues, Aarti has helped spearhead the Young People’s Initiative online pilot in Mumbai where she mentored six leaders to deliver online sessions with 30 adolescent girls.

Aarti believes in the rights of youth, women and the power of sports. Her experiences doing the Award gave her a love for sport as well as the skills she needed to pioneer changing attitudes towards women, within her family and beyond.