Kolkata: Two Mumbai boys have gone a step further in nurturing and improving their football skills as they have been selected to train at the Queenspark Rangers Academy in London for a fortnight.
Shane Aranha and Altamash Valsangkar, a central midfielder and striker respectively were a part of the winning team of the eighth edition of the QPR-South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenge Talent Hunt. This is an initiative of the former Union minister Milind Deora and the youngsters are set to fly to the United Kingdom on Friday.
The two boys were selected at a special talent hunt camp in Mumbai held earlier this year in January and they would now travel to the London-based club Queenspark Rangers for a training stint at their academy.
A former Congress MP from South Mumbai, Deora said that initiatives and programmes like these help in the development and growth of the game in the country.
In an interaction with PTI, he said, “The idea was to give kids in South Mumbai a platform to perform in sports. This gives an opportunity for the kids to train abroad.”
Of these two young talents, Shane represented the U-14 teams of Mumbai District and Maharashtra. The QPR-South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenge 2016 is an initiative with Premier League club Queenspark Rangers and is one of the biggest community football events in India.
Over 6400 children from 165 schools has played for over 80 teams in the tournament. More than 1000 football matches were played of which 88 percent of the players came from municipal and government schools.
Shane and Altamash, out of the sixth shortlisted children made it to the QPR Academy as they were selected for a special talent hunt camp which was conducted by professional coaches.