Shining on a global platform

budding Athletes

Shining on a global platform

It’s an exciting time for eight school girls, who are all set to go to Canada to participate in the 47th International Children’s Games, Children’s Olympics, being held in mid-August.

The Bangalore Schools Sports Foundation (BSSF) has mentored these girls, who are under 15, for the upcoming competition. Zohra Sait from Bangalore International School, who is part of the team, says that the rigorous practice sessions which the team has been through has trained them adequately. “We have been exposed to different sports like basketball and football at school. Although we have practised only for two and a half months, they have been rigorous sessions,” she explains.

Students are excited and apprehensive about the approaching event. Keya Vishwanathan, a student of Inventure Academy, says that they have had a hard time balancing their studies and the training sessions. “We have worked really hard. It’s the first time we will be competing at an international level,” she says.

The team members, who are from different schools, say that since the community of student football players is small, they already know each other well. “We have met each other at tournaments previously so all the faces in the team are familiar,” explains Piyanka Bakshi from Bangalore International School.

Valentine Chika, the coach of the team, is sure that the students will excel. “There has been a lot of effort that has gone into making this happen. I am 70 per cent sure that these kids will do really well,” he adds.

Coming to this stage has not been an easy process. “It’s really been a challenge to come to this stage. It has been difficult to put together funds. We are really lagging behind in the field of sports in our country. One of the reasons is because children don’t take up sports with the passion that’s required,” Reeth Abraham, former international athlete, rues.

It’s the first time that an all-girls team is being sent for the tournament. “The exposure the team gets will be an eye-opener to the level of competition that exists in this field,” she adds.

The eight students have been selected from a total of 40. “Although we invited several schools, only seven schools from Bangalore came for the selection trials. It has been a poor response probably because of the lack of footballers,” explains Elvis Joseph, founder director of BSSF.

Jude Felix, former hockey player, says, “I am sure that the students will have an amazing experience. I am sure that a lot of hard work has gone in. It’s important to be focussed.” He adds, “An effort like this will give international recognition to Indian football as a sport along with encouraging young talent to join the game.”

The students taking part are Ashna Anil from Vidyaship Academy, Drithi Reddy, Keya Vishwanathan and Roshini Rajnarayan from Inventure Academy, Vibha Pinto, Zohra Sait, Meagan Manuel and Piyanka Bakshi from Bangalore International School.

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