Passion overcomes challenges
The children have an impressive role model working with them every step of the way. Their coach Vinod, aged 19, is a state-level gold medallist for the 800-metres track event.
Vinod had to drop out of school at age 13 and start working when his father passed away. But World Vision staff provided his family with counselling and support so he was able to resume his studies and pursue his athletics dream.
Impressed by his pace and stamina, the district athletics coach selected Vinod for his track and field team. He now aspires to represent his state, Telangana, at the national level and someday represent India internationally. Vinod is also the first in his family to finish school and enter college.
"Sports create a discipline in you,” says Vinod. “It equips you to face extreme challenges and channels your energy in the right direction.
“But at the same time there are challenges children from low income backgrounds face which hinders them from excelling in sports … Some children run barefoot because they don’t have proper running shoes, which shows their passion and love for the sport ...
“One of the reasons why I was able to reach state level was because I had the support and encouragement from World Vision."