At just 13 years, Ananya Kamboj published her first book – My journey from Mohali to St. Petersburg which is the reminiscence of her eight days spent in St. Petersburg, Russia for the Football for Friendship (F4F) programme.

Ananya was selected as one of the young reporters to represent India along with 64 other young reporters heading to St.Petersburg, Russia under a social programme sponsored by FIFA and Gazprom.

About the young author –

Ananya is a 13-year-old girl from Mohali who is studying in class 9. She is born and brought up in Mohali, Punjab. Her hobbies are reading, writing and playing football. She likes to read books whenever she gets time and her favourite book is Matilda by Roald Dahl. She aspires to be a journalist when she grows up and believes her parents are her inspiration behind her first book who encouraged her to read and write books.

About the book –

F4F programme is an international children’s social programme that aims to promote sports in youth, foster tolerance and respect toward other cultures. In 2017, Ananya won a contest organised by Mission XI Million, an initiative by the FIFA and All India Football Federation. She wrote an article about football and was chosen as a young journalist to represent India in Russia. After coming back from there, she wanted to share her memories and experience.

That’s when her father Mr. Vikram Kamboj encouraged her to write about it and also helped her in getting this book published. So, this book is all about an inspirational journey of a 13-year-old girl from India to Russia and her lessons, and insights from the trip.

I kept the Indian flag flying high at the F4F social programme at St. Petersburg. - @KambojAnanya #Inspirational Click To Tweet

What I liked –

I always believe that parents play an important role when it comes to a child’s overall development. The constant encouragement and support of parents are really crucial for a child. All kids are talented and creative but due to the pressure of studies and a constant push to excel, kills the creativity in a child. One must look out for the interests of a child and encourage him/her.

First of all, I salute Vikram and Pooja for not only encouraging young Ananya but also supporting her to fulfil her dream. I know Vikram as a wonderful writer himself and a good friend. I must say that he is doing a great job as a parent and he is an inspiration to all the parents around.

In this book, Ananya shares her learnings about how Football for friendship is helping to bring the different countries closer and also teaching values to youngsters all around the world. I liked the way she has divided all her teachings and lessons into small chapters. It’s a small and comprehensive view of what she experienced herself.

Also, read 5 ways to encourage creativity in kids. 

Topics covered –

The book has 21 small chapters which can help a reader to understand the F4F programme and its goals and initiatives properly.

  • The experience of meeting different children from different countries.
  • Her work as a journalist and young author when she was there.
  • How F4F is helping in strengthen bonds of friendship with the help of football.
  • How it celebrates International day of football and friendship by arranging friendly matches between countries.

Ananya has set an example as a young author for other teenagers. It is an inspirational book and a must read for all the young readers. In 2017, India took part for the first time and she was the young ambassador who represented India. This year too, she was invited to Russia for another incredible experience. I wish her all the best in her future endeavours and hope to see many more published books from her.


You can contact Ananya on Twitter.