Two Mumbai boys to train at QPR Academy in London
Two local boys are set to hone their football skills during their fortnight-long training stint at the QPR Academy in London. Shane Arahna, a central midfielder, and striker Altamash Valsangkar, who played for the winners of the 8th edition of the QPR South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenger Talent Hunt, an initiative of former Union Minister Milind Deora, are the two boys picked to leave for the UK today.
As part of the championship, held in November 2016, the two youngsters were selected at a special talent hunt camp held here in January. The boys are heading to London-based football club Queens Park Rangers to train at the QPR Academy.
Deora, a former Congress MP from South Mumbai, told PTI that initiatives like this help the sport to grow in the country. "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," said Deora.
Of the two, Shane has played for the under 14 teams of Mumbai District and Maharashtra state. The QPR-South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenger 2016, in partnership with the English Premier League Club, is touted as the largest community football event in the country.
The championship attracted 6,400 children from 165 schools representing over 800 teams. Over 1,000 matches were played and 88 per cent of the participants were from municipal and government aided schools. Close to sixty children were shortlisted for a special talent hunt camp conducted by professional coaches from which the two boys were selected