YOUNG WORLD

To the top through hard work

SHILPA SEBASTIAN R.

ON A HIGH: The successful cricketers. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

ON A HIGH: The successful cricketers. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.  

BANGALORE

Christopher Kumar and Shiva Kumar Chintamani are going places, literally, thanks to their cricketing talent. Students of Christel House, Bangalore, they will represent India in Under-13 and Under-14 cricket tournaments in Sri Lanka this month.

Christel House offers free education to children from impoverished backgrounds. Around 626 children from Bangalore slums study here. "The preference is for orphaned children or those with single parents. It is a day-care centre where the even the health expenses of each child is borne by the school. We immunise every child as per the WHO guidelines," says a teacher.

Besides academics, the children are also exposed to various skills and those who have the aptitude for a particular skill or sports get trained in it. Theatre also is an integral part of the curriculum. For cricket, 20 children were selected from Christel House and sent to the Imtiaz Ahmed Cricket Academy in Bangalore.

"We go there every weekend for three hours to be trained," smiles Christopher. The cricket training is sponsored by Hewlett and Packard, Bangalore. "Before the academy chose to train us, it assessed our performance on the field and then we were trained as per our aptitude, whether it was bowling, batting or fielding," says Shiva, who is a medium pace bowler. His hero is Lakshmipathi Raju. "I like his pace and style. He also has a good run up," he observes.

Christopher is an all-rounder and admires Mohammed Kaif. This young cricketer was also selected to play in the Pepsi Cricket Tournament in Hyderabad in October 2005.

"We played six matches and I was adjudged the man of match in the second match," beams the young boy whose runs included two sixes and eight fours to earn him that title. Ask them how they feel about going to Sri Lanka and they reply: "We were really good in the academy. That's why we beat the other 75 to this tournament." The boys are on a real high as they also beat players from some prestigious schools in the city. They will be off to Sri Lanka on December 26 for the Sinhali's Champion's Trophy.

"What makes us happy is that we have made our school, parents and our country proud. When I grow up I too want to help the underprivileged children by coaching them in cricket," says Shiva.

Christel House is sponsoring the boys' trip. "We feel good to be a part of Christel House. They do not make us feel poor or inferior to children from other schools. Our school recognises our talents and grooms us well," says Christopher.

Christel House is on Bellahalli Main Road, Off Hennur Road, Kannur Post Via Bagalur. The contact numbers are: 080-56979122/133.

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