Juniors start FutbolForAll nonprofit

Trio collecting soccer gear for kids in India.


Photo Courtesy of Jayden Shah

Rubin Jain, left, and Jayden Shah right have collected soccer gear to send to India.

Imagine wanting to play soccer after school but not having a ball.
This is an issue most kids in affluent San Ramon don’t have to worry about. But in a lot of parts of the world, this is a very real problem. Many families simply cannot supply their children with proper soccer gear.
Three students at Cal High are hoping to help solve this problem with a new program.
FutbolForAll is a new non-profit organization that collects soccer gear for kids in India. Cal juniors Rubin Jain, Jayden Shah and Sarthak Pani, who founded the organization, are striving to supply kids with gear their families in India can’t afford for their kids.
They´re collecting cleats, jerseys, soccer balls, shin guards, and any other soccer gear. The goal for FutbolForAll is to collect 100 of each item. So far, the organization has collected 34 balls, 27 pairs of cleats, 10 jackets or jerseys, 35 pairs of shorts, and 12 pairs of socks.
“These kids want to play soccer,” Jain said. “And we want to fulfill these kids’ passions and provide for that.”
After collecting donations for the kids in India, the organization hopes to ship the gear in April.
“I feel lucky because we grew up not having to worry about that [problem with gear],” Shah said. “When I grew out of cleats, I could ask my dad for new ones.”
The idea for the nonprofit came about last summer when Pani visited India with his family to meet the principal and students of Bhalopahar School in West Bengal.
“I asked them, ‘What’s the main thing you guys want to have?’” Pani said. “And they all said soccer [gear].”
This meeting sparked the idea of FutbolForAll.
“We realized the kids were so passionate about soccer,” Jain said.
For the past few months, FutbolForAll has been collecting gear. They have partnered with Soccer Pro in Dublin, which has helped the organization gather gear by accepting customer donations.
“Every month, I go to Soccer Pro and pick up gear the customers have donated to the store,” Jain said.
The organization is hoping to develop a second partnership with Sports Basement to have FutbolForAll promoted, which would bring in more donations.
“I was talking to the advertising manager of Sports Basement in the West Coast,” Shah said. “We can advertise our non-profit with the Oakland Roots [soccer team] as part of Sports Basement.”
The Oakland Roots are a professional men’s soccer team that plays in the National Independent Soccer Association.
FutbolForAll organizers are planning to visit India this summer with additional gear that’s not originally shipped to kids at Bhalopahar School around spring break.
“The other shipment will be around the time we plan to go to India this summer,” Shah said.
Organizers said they started the program originally to focus on empowering the youth through soccer.
“Our goal is to provide these sports privileges to the kids who want and need it,” said Shah. “It’s mainly for soccer currently because soccer is a universal sport and very popular in India.”
FutbolForAll will benefit India with the supplement of needed soccer gear. But the organization may try to supply different sports and countries if this effort proves successful.
“If we plan to go bigger, we could extend to other countries,” Jain said.
Jain, Shah and Pani express their gratitude by giving back to the under served community.
“These kids are so happy even with a ball that is misshapen.” Shah said. “Giving back to them makes you so proud of yourself, inside you feel so great.”
Anyone who wants to donate soccer gear to FutbolForAll can email [email protected].