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Ignatius players beat exam pressure to win MSSA quarter-final tie

Ignatius players beat exam pressure to win MSSA quarter-final tie

St Ignatius High School (Jacob Circle) managed to trump Gokuldham 'A' (Goregaon) 3-0 in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association's (MSSA) U-14 Div IV quarter-final despite most of their players being mentally fatigued after having appeared for their second term exams the same morning.


Splendid: St Ignatius (Jacob Circle) goalscorers Arfat Ansari (left),
Sayyed Kamil (centre)  and Salik Ansari after yesterday's 3-0
MSSA U-14 quarter-final  victory over Gokuldham (Goregaon)
at Azad Maidan. Pic/Sundari Iyer


The boys arrived for the 1 pm game at Azad Maidan having toiled for two hours in the examination hall from 8-10 am yesterday. St Ignatius defender Uzair Ansari (13) admits he was more worried about yesterday's match than his Marathi paper.

"My concentration was more on the match than the exam," said the class VIII student. Meanwhile, Arfat Ansari  (13) who scored the third goal is glad his team ended up winners despite reeling under exam pressure. "We are glad that we won despite being under the pressure of exams. We had papers in the morning from 8-10 am and then we reached the ground at 11.45 am for the 1 pm match," said Arfat.

Salik Ansari and Sayyed Kamil were also on target for St Ignatius. The schools semi-finals today also clash with examinations (Oct 8-25) but principal Molly Francis gave the children some much needed relief. "The boys are so passionate about football. Hence, when the football coach told me that their semi-final match coincides with exams, I agreed to take their exams on a later date," Francis told MiD DAY.

Ignatius coach Ansari Sajid Sabir is glad his team will be free from study pressure during today's semi-final. "Studies are as important as football. After giving their exams they came here (Azad Maidan) for the match. But I'm glad they wont have to worry about exams during tomorrow's semi-final," said Sabir, who is happy that the school is encouraging these children, most of whom are underpriviliged, to play sport.

"I feel bad for the boys when I see other teams in the tournament playing with expensive studs. But I'm really proud of my kids as their desire to play is bigger than the need to own fancy shoes or jerseys. They are happy playing with whatever brand their parents can afford, as long as they get to play. Their talent is what has got them so far in the tournament. I'm hoping that they will reach the final this year," added Sabir.

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