Monday 16 October 2017, 10:11

Inspiring story makes FIFA World Cup dreams come true for mother and son

  • Indian mother and son are first winners of the FIFA ‘Bring Someone Special’ campaign

  • Duo will attend Opening Match of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

  • Adityanshu and Devashree spoke with FIFA at the FIFA U-17 World Cup currently in India

When Adityanshu put his name and inspirational story forward to the ‘Bring Someone Special’ campaign during the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia this summer, he could not have realised what was to follow for him and his mother, Devashree.

Both never had the opportunity to travel outside of India before, but that is about to change, as these two football fans were chosen from many entries around the world as the first winners of the contest. Their experience includes tickets to the Opening Match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ in Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, including travel and accommodation costs.

A lifetime love of football The 29-year-old Adityanshu, who works for an NGO that teaches life skills to at-risk children using football, credits his mother for revealing to him and many others the power of education and sports. “She is the reason I love football and do what I do today,” Adityanshu told FIFA.

It was not only her son who was inspired by the 57-year-old teacher, but many other children at the school he attended and where Devashree worked. Against the odds and the challenges of being one of the only female teachers at the school, Devashree founded the school’s first sport programme, helping to find equipment and coaches for the pupils, with the goal of teaching sportsmanship and discipline.

“She has been championing the spirit of sports and how it improves life skills in kids throughout her long teaching career, spanning 33 years and counting,” said Adityanshu with evident pride.

“She has got thousands of kids to come out and express themselves through sports, and she will be very happy and proud to be a part of the biggest sporting spectacle on Earth.”

From one FIFA World Cup to another From a remote town not far from the border with Nepal, mother and son both attended the opening match day of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Delhi on 6 October. Having followed many FIFA World Cup tournaments together, Adityanshu vividly remembers both of them waking up in the early morning hours to watch all the action from France 1998, without missing one single match.

With such an inspirational story and such a love of football, it is only fitting that the pair get the chance to fulfill a dream and be part of next year’s FIFA World Cup. They are now excitedly looking forward to seeing the action and experiencing the culture and hospitality of Russia.

“It is stories like these that remind us of the driving force of football and its capacity to inspire people around the globe. The ‘Bring Someone Special’ campaign has enabled FIFA to hear some of these incredible stories and share the pride in knowing what football can do for families and communities alike. We are truly honoured to be able to host Adityanshu and his mother in Moscow for the Opening Match in Russia next summer, and we are looking forward to hearing many more inspiring stories in the future thanks to the FIFA 'Bring Someone Special' initiative," said Jean-Francois Pathy, Director of Marketing Services at FIFA.