I am a soccer mom. Well, not in the ‘American suburban mom’ kind of way, but more in the ‘my older brat eats, breathes and sleeps soccer’ kind of way as he has been playing on his school team for the last 7 years. That basically means waking up every morning at an ungodly hour to pack him snacks and see him off for his football coaching. I am not very regular with going for his matches because that is daddy-duty; you see the daddy dearest is the sporty kind in the house, and I am more of the ‘Beta eat your fruit, drink your water, and please don’t get hurt while playing’ parent. But surprisingly, over the years I think I know a lot more about football than I ever thought I would. I know which player has moved teams, which player ‘bites’, when and where the bicycle kick was invented, or how Messi is the only God for all soccer loving boys. And not to forget: the difference between the soccer shoes which could have molded studs, screw-in studs, or blades. Yes, we soccer moms are totally into studs, of course, the football kind because we have to buy them every new season for our offspring as they outgrow them at an alarming speed.

Nobody but the winners of the FIFA World Cup are ever allowed to touch the Winners Trophy, but the players of the Blind Football Team at the NAB were given the opportunity to touch the Trophy, and the joy on their faces was something we were all touched to witness.

So imagine the excitement when FMC partnered Coca Cola in Mumbai for its lead up to the first-ever FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 to be hosted in India. Coca Cola India delighted the soccer moms on FMC and of course their soccer playing boys and girls by enabling them to experience the Winner’s Trophy at close quarters in Mumbai. Though the First Moms Club moms had to take part in contests and quizzes to experience it, we had an overwhelming response from moms across the community. Since the Soccer-Mom phenomena spreads across India, we had moms participating from all over the country, but of course, we could accommodate only the mommy winners and mommy bloggers from Mumbai.

The event was held at the National Association for the Blind (NAB) Worli, and I personally think that was the most heartening part of the trophy experience. Nobody but the winners of the FIFA World Cup are ever allowed to touch the Winners Trophy, but the players of the Blind Football Team at the NAB were given the opportunity to touch the Trophy, and the joy on their faces was something we were all touched to witness.

The FIFA U-17 World Cup Trophy is well-guarded and cannot be touched by any and everyone, but since these blind football players are true achievers, Coca Cola offered them a chance to spend some precious moments with the Trophy when they were able to touch and feel it, and also get photos clicked with it. One can only imagine the joy they must have felt in this experience. Our children were excited and gushing over just to click a photograph with the cup from a distance.

At the event, the FMC moms and their soccer crazy kids got a chance to click pictures with the Trophy, take part in fun soccer quizzes where the soccer moms and kids participated with equal gusto to win multiple prizes and of course, go back home with a uber cool Coca Cola red goodie bag.

Some of the FMC moms also realized that since the event was at NAB, their kids were able to see and touch what Braille (the written script for the blind) really feels like. Such events make our children realize that it’s important to recognize that people with disabilities need to feel equal, want inclusive livelihoods and lead a life of dignity.

For some moms who made it late to the event, the Coca Cola team went out of their way to put the Trophy back on display so that the little football fans would not have to go home empty-handed and disappointed! Thank you, Coca Cola for enabling the soccer moms in not only doing more than the usual drop-and-pick that a typical soccer mom is expected to do but also for bringing the trophy to NAB so our children can appreciate differently-abled people who personify the positive ideals of football and sportsmanship in its truest sense.

This article was originally published in FirstMomsClub