Soccer training in Brazil for six Kashmiri boysNovember 11th, 2011 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, Nov 11 (IANS) With dreams in their eyes and the promise of a bright future, six Kashmiri boys, one of them once arrested for stone pelting, leave for Brazil Saturday to be trained in football.
Brazilian coach Juan Marcos Troia, who runs football training academies in the state, made the announcement at a function Friday.
Of the youngest of the six is 18-year-old Imran Bhat, of Old city Rainawari locality.
Bhatt was arrested by the police in 2005 for stone pelting and later released on assurances of good conduct given by his parents.
He still has 18 cases of stone pelting pending him though he has given up stone pelting for the good.
“Every boy in my locality was pelting stones and I also joined them. The police picked me up one day outside my house, Bhatt said.
“I heard of Juan Marcos Troia training local boys for football in 2006 and that is when I decided I must join the coaching camp,” Imran said here at a function organised by the Argentinian born Brazilian coach.
Marcos said he saw promise in Bhatt the very day he watched his movements on the field.
“I noticed the boy’s talent when he came for training to my camp and today he is ready to join the world’s best football training academy,” the proud coach said.
Besides Bhatt, Basharat Bashir Baba from Pampore town, Masood Maqbool from Nowgam area of Srinagar, Abid Yaqoob from the Badgam district, Muzammil Mehmood Dar from Ganderbal district and Tahir Maqbool from the far off Gurez border town in Bandipora district would also be leaving for Brazil.
At a function here attended among others by state Sports Minister R.S. Chib, Marcos said: “The International Sports Academy Trust (ISAT) football developing programme in Kashmir is helping to fulfill the dreams of these six local boys.
“The reason to send these young footballers to Brazil is to attend one of the most important football courses in the world given by the syndicate of professional football trainers of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“The course will capacitate them with a certificate to train footballers at a professional level.”
Marcos, who earlier this year received anonymous threats to leave the Kashmir Valley, said his football academy had grown quite impressively in many areas of the Kashmir region.
“Today, we have six academies at Srinagar, Badgam, Nowgam, Ganderbal, Bandipora and Gurez. Some 3,000 men are involved in 20 of our teams from super division of the state at under 16 and under 14 levels.
“We have so far arranged 50 different competitions in the state and outside. We also organised and sponsored five tournaments here in 2011,” the coach said.
Kashmiris have always been ardent football lovers and despite the cold weather, local boys can be seen playing the game in the cities and towns of the valley.
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