It all started during 2014 FIFA World Cup, when I first watched Cristiano Ronaldo play, I was awestruck. The way he moved the ball so quickly and scored goals so deftly set of a fire in my heart that would never stop burning. It was at this time, my 11 year old self found out that this was going to be my favourite sport till the end.
When I first trialled for my school team, the coach said I wasn't good enough. It broke my heart. But then I realised that I can become better by learning & practising. I started practicing hard, each skill and each technique to perfection. I played with people who were 3 to 4 years older than me to be stronger physically. Soon I started noticing my improvements in football.
Few months later, I trialled again for the school team and I got selected. Of course, I started as a defender. Slowly I moved up the ladder, becoming a midfielder then striker, this gave the confidence that I can play any position. Next year, I became the captain of my school team in Chennai. This is when my parents started noticing my love towards the sport and decided to surprise me with a try out for a club. I got selected into it and started playing in their elite team.
A year later we moved to Mumbai, I joined my school, HFS International. Few weeks after I joined the school, the football coach noticed me during my games lecture and took me in, I was very thrilled. A year later, which is right now, I am the captain of HFSI U15 team and I am also part of the U18 team. During the first couple of months in Mumbai, I trailed for the youth division of Boca Juniors in India (mumbai) and started playing IN the U15 division team.
Seeing the efforts I put for academics and sports my parents are ready to support me in my journey of becoming a professional football player. My football coaches in the school Vishal sir and Jonathan sir helped me to get a trial at an I-league club called India Rush FC. After the trial I was informed that I have been selected into the U15 I-league team. I was enthralled to finally achieve one of my goals that is to play in I-league (national level football).
The School’s role to support the student’s passion is very critical, coz’ it not only encourages the student, but also gives the confidence morale boost. My school HFS International has extended their support to help me balance my professional sports and studies. I would especially like to thank my principal, Mrs. Kalyani Patnaik who has supported me all out in my quest with football.
The most important thing “if anyone wants to become what they would love to become” is to never stop practicing. "Practice makes you perfect" this is what I believe in for both football as well my studies.
(Aadhavan is a student of std IX,
Hiranandani Foundation School