A common complaint that most of us have heard or even experienced in this pandemic is - 'I/We have put on a couple of kilos'. Unsurprisingly lethargy has been one of the consequences of social immobility. What if we say that there is a magic pill to spruce you up from your couches? Let us be more specific - an Indian magic pill.
We’ll say it - CRICKET! Age no bar, gender agnostic, no matter the time of the day - it works on everyone. Try it!
...And so it did work here too. Last year Helsingborg witnessed the formation of its first official women’s cricket team. An initiative that found many takers and saw the light of day in a short span of time despite the pandemic. Three cheers for Anjali and Poonam who took on this initiative and formed Helsingborg Titans Women's Cricket Club.
Poonam & Anjali
So who are they?
Anjali Guhagarkar is a Mumbaikar from a traditional Maharashtrian family. She has happily settled in Helsingborg with her husband and two boys. Her friendly nature and personality inclined her to take up HR as her profession. They've been in Sweden for 8 years now. Poonam Kunjir is also a Mumbaikar who moved to Sweden in 2016 with her husband and 2 kids.
Love for Cricket
Both agree that Cricket has always been a passion for every Indian whether you actually play the game or cheer for your team. For Anjali, it started as playing "galli cricket" with kids of her age or younger, “it has always been fascinating to hit shots and break window glasses... uske baad jo hota tha.... jo padti thi”. Similarly for Poonam the ‘cricket’ seed was planted when she watched her brother play cricket in her younger years and then grew on from there after marrying her husband who is exceptionally passionate about the game as well as her son. “As a sport, it is very active and a team game. It keeps you very busy and involved. It keeps you fit physically and mentally both”, says Poonam.
Undoubtedly, for most Indians, the craze for cricket runs in the family and the genes.
The birth of the Women's Cricket Club
For Anjali, however later on, due to constraints this passion was overlooked and remained as a childhood free-time game. She adds on further, “When my teenage son started to play cricket, I felt like he was living my dream. Team spirit and group effort are the best learnings of this game. Accompanying my son for practice and tournaments was making me happy and involved in the game. I found many other moms who also shared the passion for cricket and that's how our Helsingborg Titans Women's Cricket Club was formed.” It gives me great pleasure to see the numbers, spirits and passion for the game in our girls. And the common thing which we all share is the love for cricket.
Helsingborg Titans Women's Cricket Club
Opportunities & Challenges
Though there are few constraints one of which is definitely the dark and cold weather which deprives us of practicing throughout the year but the passion keeps us on our toes. Poonam also feels that she needed to be fit again to be more agile and keep up with the demands of the game. Both say that Helsingborg kommun is very supportive and encourages sports. It also provides financial help to the club for setting the infrastructure. We are thankful to Helsingborg kommun and Helsingborg Royal Sports Club for giving us a chance to re-ignite and live our dreams.
Helsingborg Titans Women's Cricket Team
Message for Women's Day
Anjali’s message for International Women’s day -"be free to dream, express, create and live your deepest heart's desires... you deserve everything"
Poonam’s message for International Women’s Day - "Age is just a number, You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream"
Editor's Note: To connect with the club, get in touch with Anjali or Poonam directly or drop a message at Helsingborg Royals Sports Club