Don Bosco, Matunga played their first game against Don Bosco, Borivali, this afternoon, 18th of July at the MSSA ground, Fort, Mumbai.
Don Bosco is one of the most popular schools in Mumbai when it comes to school-level sports; with numerous trophies in hockey, basketball and football on their shelf.
To unravel the secret of a team, with such a fiery win record and the champions of the last academic year, our team met with their football coach Leslie Machado, a former footballer for the central railways and coach at Don Bosco, Matunga since 1992.
- How does the sports system in Don Bosco work?
Sports is compulsory in our school; we start our boys on a sports rotation from standard 1 itself! Which means all the boys have to play all types of sport, for 2-4 weeks each, till they reach standard 5. During this, we tend to understand which child has an aptitude for which sport and train them exclusively for that.
These boys are trained all year round, even during summer!
- How is your training facility for your students?
Don Bosco has a very good field for practice. Plus, we not only train our boys during the academic year, but through the holidays too! In fact, during the summer vacation, our under-16 boys go through practice matches with the junior team of Khalsa College!
- What role does the coach play in a team and as a coach how do you tackle behavioral and academic issues?
Well, I can say that I am like their friend off the field. But on field, or when I am playing against them, I am like their enemy. I am strict but approachable and always there for the kids.
We do not tolerate any kind of bad behavior from the kids, even if they are very talented players. If they do have an issue, we pull them up and make them sit till they calm down.
If we happen to have a good player who struggles with his academics, he is pulled up and stopped from playing till his grades improve. We want our boys to be sporty, but we don’t want them ignoring their basic education for it.
4 What role does sports play in a student’s life?
I believe sports should be a compulsory part of a student’s curriculum as it helps maintain fitness, develop a good personality and team spirit, all of which will help them in future.
Box: Testimonial from an ex-Boscoite —
“Sports has been a part of my life and it was a big thing for me to play for Don Bosco. I would love to see sports make progress in India. In future, just like my parents did, I would encourage my children too, to go and play sports.” Clivert Millar a former footballer and student of coach Leslie.