Adhuna Bhabani has always been involved in sports, from horse riding to kickboxing and now football. There is hardly any game that the founder of BBlunt salons has not tried. She had never imagined that she would ever be a part of a football team, especially when she is at the peak of her career.
“I was a tomboy during my school days. My best friend, who also quite like me, gave me the motivation to be active in sports,” says Bhabani. She recalls that her girlfriend had been her constant support in everything. Growing up, Adhuna and her brother Osh had the same group friends since she always spent time with her brother’s friends. Her childhood stories would make anybody nostalgic. “After school, we would run to play in the school ground. Is that not what every schoolgoing kid loves to do?" she says. She remembers spending almost every day playing her favourite sport: football. When you are born and brought up in Liverpool, it is not at all shocking that you would be a fan of the sport too, like everybody else. “It is appalling if someone from Liverpool is not an ardent follower of football. It never mattered to me if my friend and I were the only two girls playing football, as every other kid there grew up playing it," she adds.
Coming to India was a cultural shock for Bhabani. But this is also the place where she evolved from being an amateur player to starting her own women’s football team. Adhuna’s team is named OD Squad and they participate in the Roots Premier League. Having your own team requires dedication and taking out the time to train. “The focus was to build a community to bring women together to play,”, she says. The team’s convention happened with the help of three other men: Santino Morea, Harprit Baweja and Gaurav Asamol. Baweja, one of the founders of Roots Premier League, put forward the idea of having a women’s team after learning about Bhabani's background. The first time her team participated in was the March session. There is a new session every six months for which the team starts preparing a month ahead. “Once I am determined, I like to give my everything to it. When I took this up, I did not realise it would take so much of my time,” says Bhabani. She accepts that there are days ahead of the session when managing time gets tough for her. Nirvaan Shah of PIFA Organisation, the team coach, trains the girl thrice a week for at least a month-and-a-half. “Strategising and holding a team together are two things that I have learnt from my work and used it while playing too,” she says. She also believes that the girls of other teams are also young, which motivates her to work harder.
Cristiano Ronaldo is her favourite player and she fully supports her home-team, Liverpool. She has grown up seeing her mother cheering for her favourite team on television. And even today, when there is a match Adhuna cheers for every goal that her team scores.