” I come to the school everyday at 8 o’clock, ma’am ,” said Ajit.
“Why Ajit, doesn’t school start at 9.30 a.m. only?”
” I want to play, ma’am”
“What games do you play , Ajit?”
” Football, ma’am .”
A way had to be found to encourage these keen footies. Efforts to arrange for coaching had so far not found the right person. Why not a football match was a brainwave that came floating in. And on that thought came another, Only Blue Mountain School will entertain these boys.
One call to Sophia, Headmistress and things got into motion immediately. Two coaches from the school came the next day to see our football ground ; theirs having some construction going on. Understandably, they were not too impressed. We will find a way they promised. And they did. They roped in students to clear stones and sand from parts of the ground . Students from 6th to 8th standards were ready and excited to play against our team.
We are not an organised team. We’ve never played anywhere before, we warned them. Our children too are just learning the coaches assured us.
Just getting a team of 12 from the 3 classes was a task. Added to it was the fear that one or two would default , Saturday being a holiday. But the boys were super excited. Do we wear jerseys ma’am they asked. Next time we promised.
A van was arranged. The boys were ready from 11 a.m. , well before the scheduled 1.30 p.m. They had to be shooed home to eat some food before the match. Next time, we will give them lunch too, Sophia said later. The girls too came, dressed colorfully as a bunch of birds.
We set off, with lots of singing and dancing on the way. At the school, we were led to the playground. It seemed huge. The stands were being built and everyone settled in.
Coach Girish followed protocol with both teams getting lined up and being introduced as proper gentlemen. Kick off.. and the match began.
The audience was screaming , cheering and clapping for both teams. BMS was more of a team and scored quickly. TMS school put up a great defence and kept the ball in one side of the ground. Half time came and the coach huddled with BMS, giving them plays. The TMS team stood forlorn. Until the van driver came along and got them into a huddle giving them his views. Girish came later to encourage and give TMS some tips.
Everyone was hoping for a goal from TMS and just before time, they scored !
Sophia, graciously congratulated both teams and presented the TMS team with two balls.
All tired and very happy, we went in for a good tea followed by a tour of the school.
When is the return match the boys asked?