BHUBANESWAR: Life will come full circle for the Bhuta family when India take on the US in their opening match of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup here.
At the age of 16, Vyom Bhuta – hailing from Rajkot in Gujarat – had taken a tennis scholarship to the US and settled there. On Tuesday, his 16-year-old daughter Mia will don the US jersey against the country of her origin.
But it will be more than a game of football for young Mia, who has visited India earlier to meet her grandparents who reside in Rajkot.
“It’s so special to be here right now. Playing in a World Cup is something I have been dreaming about my whole life. My parents have supported me so much to get here. I have learnt so much from my Indian culture and from my mom’s side about hard work and dreaming big, and I think that is a big reason why I am here,” Mia said on Monday.
While just 16, Mia is aware of her roots and also the relevance of the tournament taking place in a country like India. “The growth of women’s game, especially in countries like India, has been very important to me. We will try to represent the US to the best of our abilities. But, at the same time, we also hope to bring change to bring a voice to women in sports, especially in India,” she explained.
Runners-up at the inaugural edition in 2008, the US will be the overwhelming favourites against the Indians.
“I am super excited. I know it’s going to be a tough game. They are going to bring us new challenges that we have never seen before. It’s incredible to be playing the opening game before the home crowd and it will be something we’ve never experienced before. We are excited to see all the passion, meet all the Indian players and have a good contest,” said the midfielder who had joined coach Natalia Astrain for the interaction.
While a World Cup contest is no joke for the participating teams and the competitiveness has been visible in the lead to it and even in the training sessions of the teams here, Mia and her teammates are also aware of the camaraderie needed to further the women’s game around the globe.
And to that end, they ended the press conference by distributing football kits amongst the young woman footballers at the sports hostel and the academy. Mia was at the forefront of the distribution and acknowledged her joy in giving back to the country that is not represented in her jersey, but lives in her heart.

.

Source link

By Dipak

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *