A sport like sailing requires great mental strength and courage to face challenges in deep waters. Three kids from marginalised communities in Telangana who have already seen enough challenges in life, are now making it big in sailing. These young sailors come from modest backgrounds, where most of the parents do errand jobs to meet their daily needs.
The youngsters – Santosh Banoth, Chakali Karthik and John Yerrolu carved a name for them in the sailing and soon they will be taken aboard in Indian Armed Forces sailing team. The three young sailors are students of the Telangana Minorities Residential Educational Institutions Society (TMREIS) – a society which was started to provide high quality and free education to children of most economically backward minorities communities in the state.
These boys will join the sailing teams of the Navy and Army in end of July and thereafter qualify for direct entry to the forces once they finish their studies at the nearest Kendriya Vidyalayas and next in Army and Naval boys sports schools. Binod Kumar, the chief coach of Navy sailing team says these boys will also be trained for Olympics.
These prodigies are trained in sailing at the Yacht Club of Hyderabad which was established in 2009. The founder and the coach of the club Suheim Sheikh says, “Sometimes professions choose people rather than the other way around and I hardly believed it a few years ago that our academy would produce sportspersons of international calibre”.
He adds that the club believes in ‘dignity through sports’, as they choose children from the marginalized sections to give an access to sports such as sailing which were considered to be an affluent sport.
This is not the first time that Hyderabadi sailors got into sailing teams of the Navy and the Army. Last year, six students from Telangana Social Welfare Schools made their way into the sailing arena.