Sunshine story: Brother's sacrifice helps teen bag gold at Judo championship

Updated: Oct 17, 2017, 21:30 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

A talented hockey player, who gave up his dream to play for the country so that he could fund his younger brother's judo training, is a proud man on Tuesday

A talented hockey player, who gave up his dream to play for the country so that he could fund his younger brother's judo training, is a proud man today. Taabish Razza Shaikh, 18, bagged a gold medal in last week's Inter-college Judo Championship held by the University of Mumbai. The FYBA student of KES Shroff College in Kandivli, clinched the top prize in the 90-kg category at the championship on Saturday.

Taabish Razza bagged gold in the 90-kg category at the Inter-college Judo Championship last week. He trains at Marine Judo Club, Malad. Pcs/ Satej Shinde

The championship saw 16 participants from across three districts -- Thane, Raigad and Mumbai. Taabish will now represent the MU at the All India University Championship inChandigarhto be held early next year.

However, Taabish's success story is incomplete without the sacrifices made by his elder brother, Sharique, who ensured that the family's financial condition didn't come in the way of his aspirations.

Sharique Razza Shaikh, Taabish's brother

Brother to the rescue
Taabish, who resides in an SRA building in Malad, comes from a large family, comprising three brothers and a sister. "I started learning judo nearly eight years ago," recalled Taabish, who is the son of Maulana Zahidur Rahman Noori Shaikh, who teaches at a local madrasa, Darul Uloom Garib Nawaz, in Malad East. "Since we are a large family, my father could not afford to pay for my judo classes and training," said Taabish.

That's when his eldest brother Sharique stepped in. Noticing his brother's obsession for the game, Sharique, who was an avid hockey player himself and had dreams to pursue it professionally, decided to give up his aspirations to find a job. "He was a natural at the sport from the very first day. I didn't want him to give up something he excels at simply because we could not afford to send him for training," said Sharique, who paid for his younger brother's training at the Marine Judo Club at Liberty Garden in Malad, where he has been training under Pramod Mandon for the last eight years.

Taabish with his mother, Shamsara Shaikh, and younger brother, Aaqib Shaikh, at his SRA residence

Sharique isn't just a strong support system in Taabish's life, but also mentors him from time to time. "My brother pushes me to train because he knows the importance of the game in my life. He doesn't want me to give it up," Taabish said.

'Coach is like my father'
According to Taabish, apart from his family, his coach too played a key role in shaping both his game and life. "After I joined judo, my father used to tell me that I needed to balance both studies and sports. My mother pointed out that since I didn't want to leave judo, I should work hard. While I wouldn't have been able to conquer my dreams without their support, the true credit for my success goes to my coach. He is an important motivational figure," said Taabish. "He trained me like a father and has supported me through thick and thin."

With coach Pramod Mandon

Speaking about last week's tournament, Taabish said, "I scored an ippon (full score) within 30 seconds in the finals, beating Pradeep Yadav from Mumbai for the gold. From now, I will train harder for the championship in Chandigarh. I will give it my all."

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