YOUNG WORLD

Off to Germany

PROUD FLAG BEARER: Lucky Sudarshan   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: BHAGYA PRAKASH. K



CHITRA V. RAMANI

He is the lucky boy who gets to visit Germany.

P.S. Sudarshan, a 12-year-old boy from the city, has been selected as a Flag Bearer at the FIFA World Cup 2006, Germany. He is among the four lucky children selected to be part of the World Cup in the ESPN STAR Sports and Adidas FIFA Flag Bearers contest.ESPN STAR Sports and Adidas selected the four children after a nationwide search. The nationwide search was integrated with "Learning Ground", an on ground school programme in 1,200 schools in the country. The contest was for children, who have unrelenting passion, immense knowledge and skills of football. Sudarshan, a student in Sri Kumarans Public School, will be flying to Germany on June 20. He, along with the three other winners of the contest from the country, will be part of the World Cup match between Australia and Croatia to be held on June 22.

Via SMS

The participants were asked to send an SMS and later asked to send in a slogan. "I used my mother's cell phone to send the SMS. I then wrote down four slogans and with help from my mother, selected the best one and submitted it," Sudarshan said. Sudarshan's slogan was - "Planet Football in the sports universe is my second home". He was asked to read out the slogan on air by Radio Mirchi. "After an SMS poll, 20 of us were chosen. We went to New Delhi for the final selection," he said. "The school has been very encouraging. The headmistress has asked him to address the school assembly tomorrow," his mother said. She said that one parent gets to accompany the four children to Germany. Ms. Jayagowri said that ESPN, Star Sports and Adidas would select the venue, location and date of the match. "It is two day and three night trip. ESPN, STAR Sports and Adidas are taking care of all the expenses," she said. Sudarshan said he has been interested in football since he was in the II standard. "I never thought I'd ever be able to watch a live match. It is a dream come true," he said.