Saturday, August 27, 2005

More Indian students paying for foreign coaching

Indians are seeking out foreign sports academies in search of quality training. This year, there has been a sudden spurt in this trend among Mumbai’s aspiring sportstars, with South Kickers Soccer Club’s Jeffery Campus offering year-long training stints for four city soccer players at Elians School in Valencia, Spain and Anjali Shah of the Indian Youth Soccer Academy, known for taking scores of youngsters to Bobby Charlton’s academy every year, planning another trip to Manchester.

According to Express India, European soccer academies are also seeing more young Indians. ‘‘We have a severe lack of facilities here,’’ says Campus. ‘‘If football is to touch a different level, these boys have to step out.’’ The four students he’s sending to Spain are hoping to latch on to a two-year all-paid extension if they manage to impress the coaches there.

One youngster taking the Europe-route is Delhi’s Karan Diwan (18), hoping to attend the selection trials for Scottish giants Rangers. Shah, who arranged for the camp, explains: ‘‘Our training methods are redundant and selection trials are biased. Also, fielding of overaged players is rampant, so talented kids miss out.’’

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