Dominic Fernandes, a Class IX student has many reasons to thank football, a sport that he has been playing for the last nine years. The 13-year-old was never aware of his speed until Arthur Fernandes, a national level athlete, and his building society’s secretary saw him play football at a ground nearby.
It was because of Fernandes’ suggestion that Dominic is now also a sprinter and a long-jumper.
“Last year, when Arthur Sir saw me playing football, he liked my speed and approached my mother, asking her to allow me take up athletics,” said Dominic, who scored a goal to help St Joseph, Malad beat Maneckji Cooper, Juhu 2-1 in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association’s (MSSA) Division II inter-school match at Azad Maidan yesterday.
“Initially, I hesitated but later decided to give athletics a try. He took me to Harishchandra Gupta, who trains at SAI in Kandivli. I was selected after a few trials,” he added.
Dominic has won medals at state and national level athletics championships. He feels athletics, being an individual sport, can bring him greater glory.
“I feel winning a medal in athletics can give you a better name than winning a football match. But, football has always been my first love.”