New Delhi, Feb 6 : With a vision to promote football for women and to encourage them to lead a healthy life, Kica, a homegrown active wear brand recently organised the Kica Women Football league. The league, which started on February 2, brings together 80 players in 6 teams of 13-14 players each. The match format is a 7v7 with a 50-minute game with two halves and will host matches every Sunday till March 8 in Conscient Sports Arena, New Delhi.

IANSlife got in a conversation with Aneesha Labroo, KICA founder, to know more about the league, it's aim and the brand. Excerpts: Could you elaborate about the women's league that you are organising?
Labroo: Kica is committed towards making functional and fluid garments without compromising on style. Our aim is to encourage women to stretch boundaries, break resistance and define goals, while feeling comfortable, confident and beautiful in their own skin.

In football, we see a perfect match for achieving this goal. All over the world, "the beautiful game" is a unifying force, bringing together people from all backgrounds and uniting them in the pursuit of a collective aim. However, despite the growing popularity of women's football in India and across the globe, Delhi still lacks in providing ample opportunities for amateur women football players. The Kica Women's Football League aims to bridge this gap and show women that achieving physical fitness can also be fun.

What realised you to do organise this league? Labroo: I am thrilled to be organising this football league for women. Being a sports enthusiast myself, I know the importance of sports and fitness in a woman's life. Noticing the shift in behaviour around me in terms of the willingness to try new activities, and the thirst to be active in exciting ways, led to the idea of an amateur women's football league. It is an opportunity to build an empowered community of active women.

What is the aim of this women's league? Labroo: It's an initiative by Kica to give women the opportunity to stay healthy and fit by regular participation in football. To unify women to play a sport together, in a fun, and competitive manner. An empowered community that will not discriminate on age, skill, strength, but encourage and motivate each other.

What inspires you to launch brand Kica? Labroo: While living in New York, I noticed the surge in health and fitness related trends and behaviours. I too, found myself becoming more health conscious because of the way of life around me. There were so many stores popping up that were dedicated to purely activewear. A new yoga studio on every block, and a new "health" fad changing by the week. I started discussing with my friends about how India too has seen a shift in the health and fitness space. While racking our brains to think of a good Indian activewear brand, absolutely nothing came to mind. This thought stayed with me until I moved back to India in September 2016. I conducted a full marketing study on the activewear market and available brands, and identified a gap in the market for high quality, stylish products at an affordable price point. Kica was born out of the need to bridge this gap.

Also, you have women players ranging from all age groups and different backgrounds, how are they managing and coping up for the league? Labroo: It's quite amazing to see how the teams have been taking their practice sessions very seriously! The teams have been meeting up a couple of times a week, along with coaches, who have been helping them build their squad. The beginners get different drills from the more advanced players, but they are all managing to help and assist each other. There are some girls who live extremely far/remote areas and if any of them have issues with travel, the captains/team owners/ KWL team assist them in pickups and drop offs. Playing football is such a great way to bond with your peers, and I'm sure by the end of the league we'll all have.

(Puja Gupta can be contacted at puja.g@ians.in)

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