Mumbai: In the ninth hour of the board exam preparations, grade 10 students of Bandra’s Stanislaus High School have also managed to lift the Junior Aga Khan Hockey Tournament trophy. The tournament was held from December 14th to December 16th at the Mumbai Hockey Association ground, Churchgate.
The U-16 squad included Coach and Indian Hockey Olympian Marcellus Gomes, Coach George Esteve, Coach Cecil Correia, Coach Sheldon Fernandes, Captain Shaun D’Mello, goalkeeper Simon Cardoz, Emmanuel Macwan, Shane Gonsalves, Dhruv Yadav, Kaide Pereira, Daksh Bamania, Dann Extross, Ameer Mozayan, Elron Gurson, Mikhail Miranda, Atharv Mhatre, Roosevelt Vaz, Marvin Gomes, Shaun Rodrigues, Rublyn D’Mello, and Luv D’Souza.
Captain Shaun D’Mello, who practiced the sport since the beginning of the academic year said that he regularly used to go for practice sessions in the morning. “The tournament was my premier focus, and studies were my second priority,” added D’Mello, thanking his parents for not pressurizing him about his studies.
Stanislaus High School U-16 team played their final match against Matunga’s Don Bosco High School team, and the match extended to the penalties after the score at full-time was 2-2.
The left mid-fielder of the squad, Dhruv Yadav, said that it wasn’t very difficult for him to manage the sport-academics balance. “Having set a weekly target for my studies, I could manage my time easily and I could give enough time to Hockey and my studies,” added Yadav.
While the others managed their time well, center forward Emmanuel Macwan carried his studies on the field during practice sessions. He discussed his doubts with his fellow teammates during the sessions.
“On the days when we had to play games, I chose to study easier topics. Being simple, those topics would get done easily and I wouldn’t get exhausted,” added Macwan.
On the other hand, the right outer of the team, Ameer Mozayan, was not as worried about completing his studies. He said that he had started preparing for class 10 boards in the vacations of grade 9.
Moreover, he said, “I had made a rule for myself, ‘First study, and then practice’. The days when I didn’t complete what I decided, I wouldn’t go for practice.”
Team coach George Esteve told the Free Press Journal that it got tiring for the students to manage their studies along with those regular practice sessions. “There were days when we had to move on with the sessions despite there being only four or five students coming for practice,” added Esteve.
However, the students somehow managed to find their way through the tournament, clearing all the study-related hurdles, and bringing back the trophy.
The Stanislaus team played 3 matches during the tournament- one against Dr Antonio DSilva school’s team, the semi-finals against the Children’s Academy team, and the finals against the Don Bosco High school team.
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