Pressure from family cannot stop Jainam's love for football

Aug 20, 2013, 01:27 IST | Rohan Koli

For most parents in our country, the choice between sports and studies is a no-brainer. Given an option, it's not difficult to predict what they would veer towards.

Swami Vivekanand’s (Kandivli) Jainam Shah, too belongs to the tribe who have to sacrifice their sporting prowess because their parents want them to focus on studies.

Swami Vivekanand and Jainam Shah
Swami Vivekanand’s (Kandivli) Jainam Shah (centre) in action against Victoria High School (Mahim) in an U-16 inter-school tie. Pic/Bipin Kokate

“My parents are always against me playing football. They ask me to concentrate on my studies. But, my coach (Abhishek Dey) tries to convince them about letting me play.

They have not even seen me play football,” said the 15-year-old, who scored a brace that helped his team beat Victoria High School (Mahim)
3-2 via tie-breaker in the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) U-16 Div III pre-quarter-final match at Azad Maidan yesterday. Both teams had scored one goal apiece at the end of regulation time.

Even yesterday before the match, Jainam’s mother called coach Dey to ask if her child could skip the game. But he managed to persuade her to let him play. “I requested her to send him for the match as he is one of our best players and also the ‘heart’ of our team,” Dey said.

This is one problem that Dey is accustomed to tackling. “I often face this problem from parents as many students are in Class X. To make up for their lost time I ask students to attend an extra hour in school.”  

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