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SFL (Swaminarayan Football League) comprises of many little things which add value to the bigger picture.  On Saturdays, SFL training sessions take place where specific and directive drills are undertaken for the youth who attend to improve and develop their football abilities and as part of training we have practice matches which allow us to get a feel for the game of 11-a-side football. The main reasons for our Saturday training sessions are twofold. Firstly, it is Maharaj - before the training sessions or even on match day just before kick-off, a prathna is recited within the teams and a short but sweet leela of Maharaj is shared by the boys. Secondly, is to have fun and enjoy ourselves whether it’s laughing and joking during game time or practicing dizzy penalties during training time. Training starts at 12.00pm at our home ground of Willesden Sports Centre and finishes at 4.00pm. Four hours sounds like a long time but time flies when you’re having fun. We also have many friendlies which take place allowing our boys to put their skills to the test in a fun and competitive 11-a-side game. We also enter 7 and 5-a-side tournaments which allow us to enjoy the game on a different platform gaining new skills and sharpening old ones.

SFL away days are great as it allows us to play other Shree Swaminarayan Temples in the UK. It allows us to speak and integrate with boys from other yuvak mandals and have a laugh with them. SFL is not just on the pitch but off it too as we have football orientated outings which allow us to enjoy each other’s company with the common ground of football, without getting muddy of course.

SFL combines Maharaj and football together to create a fun enjoyable but still testing environment. If you haven’t been already as they say, what have you been waiting for?

As Shree Swaminarayan Temple Willesden Academy, we were proud in 2009 to hold our first sports day at Harrow High which was a huge success thanks to the 400 plus people that attended. The boys had an over 16s, under 16s and under 12s tournament and the ladies had a football tournament. We had darshan of santos, who attended the event, inflatables and what better than on a hot day some ice-cream it was a fun-filled, event-packed day which was capped off by everyone receiving a commemorative sweat band which looked quite trendy.