As India’s Olympic Performance falls apart (even with the greatest participating strength ever for the country), let’s explore the grassroot talent and real-life struggles faced by any aspiring sportsperson in our country.
Meet Sylvester Peter, founder of and life coach at ‘My Angels Academy‘ (MAA), Vikaspuri, Delhi. He started MAA at the age of 13, when he spotted child beggars and thieves at his locality. Sylvester was determined to set his lifetime in service of humanity. He initiated his methods in teaching the nearby Vikaspuri slum children at a small scale and kept innovating his approach towards the non-formal education system for the slum children. Soon Sylvester found the crux of the best learning method through football training. Initially, interested slum children were selected to practice football under his guidance at the nearby public park.
As a determined ward of an Army Officer, Sylvester took up the greatest challenge of life. He learned the professional way of football training all by himself and took it upon himself to train the slum kids. He referred to and coined all the children as ‘angels’. That’s how the name of his institution came into existence.
His journey over the last thirty years hasn’t been easy either, he had to struggle to get the kids their rights and to take them all forward. His first hurdle was the public park ground. Slum children were not welcome in the public park by the locals. The slum kids have been regularly shunned off their rights similar to the time of untouchability. And therefore, Sylvester decided that the kids shall practice football at a very odd hour that is 3 am in the morning. That ways the kids could practice and not be subjected to unnecessary comments and be disturbed from their practice.
At MAA, Sylvester always kept the main focus on the practical interactive method of learning rather than school formal education. He says,“Just because I can’t give them degrees, all children have to attend Govt Schools. Once I have an infrastructure of my own, first thing he will do is take out all children from govt schools.” He believes that education and knowledge comes from learning with practical actions which works at giving children a holistic approach towards any topic.
Football is the main tool of MAA to reform the lives of these under-privileged children. As a result, the different age group teams and individual players have won laurels and accomplish feats at this early stage like getting selected, trained and beating various football clubs including the top European youth clubs and Indian clubs.
This documentary has been produced by Paper Weight Entertainment and they want the world to know about the struggles this man has to go through to keep things going at My Angels Academy. Sylvester has been an inspiration to the Paper Weight team as no matter what the situation, he just doesn’t give up. And as Sylvester teaches his kids: “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”