Image Credits: @MCFC
MCFC’s Mandar Rao Dessai, Sergio Lobera and Manuel Sayabera interact and train virtually with Special athletes.
Having set the tone in 2019, Mumbai City FC continued its tradition and celebrated Children’s Day with Special Olympics Bharat athletes, via a virtual meet and greet. The Special athletes got a chance to interact and learn from some of their heroes from the Indian Super League (ISL) club, including experienced defender and Indian international Mandar Rao Dessai, Mumbai City Head Coach Sergio Lobera and Strength & Conditioning Coach Manuel Sayabera.
The Islanders, who are currently in a bio-secure bubble in Goa ahead of the upcoming 2020-21 ISL season, interacted with the Special athletes on a wide range of topics including impact of lockdown on training and effective coaching techniques. This was followed by a live demonstration of football skills by Special Olympics footballers who have won silver and bronze medals for India at the Special Olympics World Games. In return, The Islanders also showed a few simple exercises to the young athletes, which they can incorporate in their daily routines at home.
For the second year running, #TheIslanders spent #WorldChildrensDay with our young and talented friends from @SpecialOlympics Bharat - albeit digitally - in our mission to promote unity and social inclusivity through the beautiful game ⚽💙#UnifiedSports #AamchiCity 🔵 pic.twitter.com/4CbOXibvgV
For the second year running, #TheIslanders spent #WorldChildrensDay with our young and talented friends from @SpecialOlympics Bharat - albeit digitally - in our mission to promote unity and social inclusivity through the beautiful game ⚽💙#UnifiedSports #AamchiCity 🔵 pic.twitter.com/4CbOXibvgV— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) November 14, 2020
Impressed by the tenacity of the Special athletes, Head coach Sergio Lobera said, “The Special Olympics Bharat Athletes are the best example to show that if you believe in yourself and work hard, it is possible to achieve all your dreams, in sports as well as life. It is my immense pleasure to get this opportunity to interact with such inspiring young talent. “
28-year-old defender Mandar Rao Desai, added, “Watching the Special athletes perform their football drills so perfectly was commendable. I am very proud of them and happy to see them play so well. My advice to them is to keep on practising every day, and to enjoy the beautiful game of football.”
Air Marshal Denzil Keelor, Founder & CEO, SO Bharat concluded, “I would like to reiterate what the coaches said about how good communication could strengthen the team overall. The Special Athletes want the same too. Viable communication with them would enhance their Confidence. Just simple talking with them could usher a joyful journey. Mumbai City FC has opened their hearts for us. This is an opportunity for a meaningful and quality sports experience through an Inclusive involvement”
Mumbai City will begin their 2020-21 Indian Super League season against NorthEast United FC on November 21, 2020 in Goa.