Going beyond our footwear initiatives, we plan to host expeditions and camps for youth enthusiastic about outdoor-inspired experiences or careers.
In September 2020, we were excited to announce a pilot giveaway we sponsored with XtremeTrekkers, which will take the lucky winners on a guided hike in the Western Ghats mountain range. We did this to continue growing our outdoor community and raise our profile.
From urban routes to trails to hillocks and mountains – all paths are fun. Except, when there’s snow.
For years, an overwhelming fear that I’ll slip or slide and be consumed by snow always got in the way of a dream to see how the backyard trails looked in winter whites. I’d browse through 100’s trip reports attempting to appreciate vicariously. The more I saw, the more I wanted to be out there too. I finally mustered the courage to ask in an online hiking group if anyone would be willing to accompany a newbie. KT, an active contributor to the group, offered to.
It would be our first meeting ever, we messaged to put a proper plan in place. I told her about the snow monster, lest she discovered on the trail – it wouldn’t be kind, fun, or a safe situation to be in for either of us! She sent reading resources and gear details to get acquainted with, I prepped mentally and showed up on the day of. KT’s easygoing enjoys the outdoors and a bundle of energy – it felt like we were long-time friends even if meeting for the first time. And the trail I knew very well – a novelty, like walking through a fairytale! I took snaps to bring back the sights and tell I more than survived. KT, Thank you!
Using sport as a tool of communication to create an environment of inclusion, SWAM (Sports with a mission), a recently formed organization, is well on its path to community impact through purposeful play and education outside the classroom.
Their prime focus is on UN Sustainable Development Goals # 4,3,5 namely Quality Education, Good Health and Well-Being, and Gender Equality respectively. Working at the grassroots level, around 500 children, including those with special needs/ less suited to formal education settings and 50 seniors are all beneficiaries of the current programs.
Through play-based methodology, self-directed learning and self-reflective skills are encouraged. An 80:20 (play: discussion) format is delivered through workshops across free schools, senior homes, and hostels in Bangalore.
Note: We had previously posted about the Karnataka Team Inclusion Cup Win in Goa, 2020. Thank you to SWAM founders Coach Benny and Nandini, for writing to us about the broader mission!
“I grew up being told girls aren’t allowed to play. I’m married to a sports coach, but it was only after my second baby that I mustered the courage to go onto the field where I was introduced to “Coaches Across Continents”. Once on the field, I couldn’t stay away from it. The education from games around gender equality and our role in society gave me the much-needed confidence. I now facilitate sessions both on and off the field.” – Dr. Nandini, Physiotherapist, cofounder SWAM