We all know that grassroots football clubs are not only places for people to go and play sport. They are important parts of our communities that provide us with opportunities to improve our health, build friendships and share unforgettable experiences on the pitch.

Ever since we started working with London’s Indian Gymkhana Club, which contains teams from multiple sports including football, it was clear that this was a club with strong community values and a fascinating history that stretches back over a century.

The club was founded all the way back in 1916, initially as a cricket club. But Indian Gymkhana grew and evolved over time and is now a multi-sport club with a number of cricket, hockey and football teams. Their roots lie in London’s Indian community but they warmly welcome members of all nationalities, faiths and religions.

The footballing arm of the club currently boasts 12 teams for players aged from six years old, all the way up to the Men’s and Women’s squads.

To learn more about the club, we spoke to Jay Nagra who is a Director and Club Secretary ⬇️

Firstly, how much is the club’s long history a source of pride for your players and members? 

“History is very important to us. Our club has a rich history full of outstanding accomplishments and trophies won but players, coaches, management and members also hold a constant sense of pride and belonging, recalling this as a central pillar to how Indian Gymkhana functions. 

This mindset helps us ensure that we are always looking to be the best we possibly can be and to build as a group, learning from each other and our history to propel us forward to grow as a club.”


Your club seems to be very active in the community. Tell us a little about why that is important. 

“Indian Gymkhana has always been an important part of the local community. The club has been around for over 100 years which is testament to the tight knit bond that all members of the club share. One of our key aims is to help young people grow to be important members of the community. This forms the foundation of what we do as a football club. 

By holding regular events, team lunches or even staying in the same hotel the night before a big tournament, we build an accessible family environment which helps others feel welcome from the wider community. 

As a club we also recognise the effort we need to put in to provide the best level of sporting facilities for our local community and to form positive relationships which will continue to help us to grow.”

You operate in a very competitive region, with lots of other clubs. What makes Indian Gymkhana so special? 

“From our excellent facilities and resources to a committed management team and dedicated coaching staff, we are undoubtedly a standout club that our players are proud to call home. 

For us, however, it comes down to our values, like our sense of community and family. Often, players from the senior team will attend youth football training and parents or siblings may help with coaching or organising things behind the scenes. This is what helps us stand out from other clubs. As well as our skilled and well trained coaches and our excellent training plans, we are first and foremost a club where people want to be, and where they enjoy themselves in good company. We take immense pride in that.”


How has the club grown in recent years? 

“The impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic affected us like it did with many clubs. However, since we have returned to training, our numbers have started to rejuvenate; and with over 170 youth players registered, this number continues to grow.

This again is a testament to the community we have built and the amazing coaching and training that we provide as a club.”

Your club filmed a video with Nike last year. Tell us a little about how that came about and how it felt to be involved with such a massive brand. 

“The Nike Video experience was amazing. This all came about via Instagram and one of our players at the time, who was working for LCS studios (creative agency). He initially wanted to come to Gymkhana and start training just to keep fit. When he came, he saw and liked what we were doing then got in contact with Nike who were looking for a local club from the grassroots community for their Nike App. 

The initial planning was great but then the pandemic hit and everything was on hold. Once the lockdown was over, everything was planned and shooting started. Following this, Gymkhana was introduced to Kitlocker.com who provided our Account Manager, Jonny Tarr and our Business Development Manager, Ben Dixon. Both have been fantastic with getting us up and running and long may our relationship with Kitlocker.com continue.”

Have you seen more involvement from girls and women since the Euros victory this summer? 

“Yes, the number of women and girls coming to join our women’s team has increased. Inspired by the brilliant achievement of the national side, we have had more girls and women coming to train with the youth section and also with the adult team. 

This has seen the quality and standards of training sessions for our women’s team improve. We are now closer to achieving our goal of competing in an 11 a side women’s league.”

How important is your team’s kit to Indian Gymkhana’s identity? 

“This relates directly to the very first question. We are very proud of the history of this club, which we look to expand over the next few years. Our colours and our badge are unique and instantly identifiable. It’s something we are very keen to highlight in our kits presently and in the future. Our identity is very important to us as a club amongst our players, coaches, management and members in our footballing family.”

It was fantastic to speak to Jay from Indian Gymkhana FC who are clearly a real force for good in their local community.

Long may that continue and we look forward to working with them long into the future.

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