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HomeSportKeren Kirubai - a hammer thrower making her mark in blind football

Keren Kirubai – a hammer thrower making her mark in blind football

When Keren Kirubai first noticed blind footballers in motion final 12 months, she was rattled. The Indian Blind Soccer Federation was organising its first Nationwide championship in Chennai in October 2021 and her dad’s pal, who skilled Tamil Nadu, had wished her as a goalkeeper. However she refused.

“I used to be afraid as a result of the goalkeeper is the primary participant on this factor. Then abruptly, they pulled me for the IBFF reserve group on the Nationwide. That’s how I received into this,” mentioned Keren in a chat with Sportstar on Wednesday.

The reserve group was shaped, with gamers from different sides, to stability the draw on the Nationwide. And that gave Keren her first style of the game.

“Once I noticed from outdoors, I felt I might cease the ball as solely blind gamers had been taking part in. Once I went inside, I understood the problem. You’ll be able to’t decide the place they’ll shoot. With normal-sighted gamers, you may decide with their physique actions however that isn’t the case right here,” she mentioned.

“I’ve come right here and am studying soccer now.”

The 21-year-old from Chennai is now one of many two Indian girls’s group goalkeepers on the IBSA Blind Soccer Asia/Oceania Championship which begins on Friday. And with solely two girls’s groups right here, India has already certified for subsequent 12 months’s Worlds in Birmingham.

Goalkeepers are a wierd tribe in blind soccer. They’re the one gamers who can see! They’re totally sighted whereas the opposite 4 – blind soccer is a fives sport – are totally blind and even have their eyes lined to make it a level-playing discipline.

“The goalkeeper is the attention of the group, she has to place the gamers,” she mentioned.

Keren was an honest hammer thrower earlier, competing in State-level meets, however the international pandemic stopped it. Nevertheless, that has been a blessing.

“Being a thrower, she has good energy for throwing. On this soccer, 70 per cent of the sport is how the goalkeepers feed you the ball. She has a very good arm, she will throw the ball properly,” mentioned Vikram Singh, nationwide champion Maharashtra’s coach and the Indian group’s ‘aim information’ right here.

However Keren had a language difficulty too.

“The vital factor is how ‘keepers talk with gamers, how they information them is vital,” mentioned Vikram.

“Once I first joined the camp, I didn’t know Hindi,” revealed Keren. “And everyone right here solely knew Hindi. Now, I’m studying Hindi from them and they’re studying English from me. Everyone is comfy.”

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