Let's help the underdog fight for their sporting talents

Updated: Oct 15, 2019, 07:46 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

The detailed report cites the progress of these children in the sport they have chosen

Boys from the U-16 team of Pahadi MPS in Goregaon East at a DSO tournament in September. Pic/Ashish Raje
Boys from the U-16 team of Pahadi MPS in Goregaon East at a DSO tournament in September. Pic/Ashish Raje

This paper's Sunday section had a sunshine story about children studying in civic schools in the city, pushing the barriers when it comes to sport. Girls and boys studying in BMC schools and from the lower economic strata are training hard. They have now become a force to reckon with in football, boxing and basketball.

The detailed report cites the progress of these children in the sport they have chosen. They have a few backers, coaches and organisers who have kept the faith, schemes promoting youth sports and benefactors who keep the game going and the flame burning for these children. They are also getting some opportunities to go abroad for training camps, though of course, these are few and far between.

Our Sports Ministry, talent scouts, those that are part of the eco system that aims to make India a multi-sport force must look at grassroots to see how we can support these children. Can something be done for their nutritional needs? We want to see the school sports oganisers pitch in with helping the most talented with some good kits and most importantly, shoes and apparel that fits. We have to see that the talent pool is wide and tap into it, if we are to start the carousel of sporting champions.

Coaches and teachers of 'privileged' schools should tell their students to mix with these children, learn from them and in fact, that is the way bonds are made, friendships forged and a feeling of empathy is born. It is a lesson in life, learnt from outside the classroom. Our civic school athletes hold lessons for all of us, as a society. Sport is rife with stories of the underdog, and in many instances these are the underprivileged boxing, running, playing football as a way out of the ghetto. Let us help so that they get the opportunities they deserve.

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