Twelve-year-old tennis prodigy blooms in Kerala orphanage

By Shafeeq Hudavi,

Kozhikode: Jubair Khan, a 12-year-old Manipuri inmate of Jami’yyat Da’wa Tablighul Islam orphanage in Kozhikode, is all set to emerge as the national table tennis star. The table tennis prodigy has been selected for a training programme of the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board based at Ajmer in Rajasthan and currently being trained there.

Jubair, the present title holder of cadet boys in the All Kerala Table Tennis Tournament, was brought to the JDT Islam orphanage from East Imphal district of Manipur by a voluntary organisation functioing under the Jama’te Islami Hind in 2010. After shelter and other facilities at the orphanage, Jubair’s natural flair for the sport buoyed as he found the orphanage an ideal place to begin his training.

C P Kunju Mohammed handing over the memento to Jubair Khan
JDT Islam secretary C P Kunju Mohammed handing over the memento to Jubair Khan at the recent function, organised by the Table Tennis Academy Kozhikode at Hotel Alakapuri.

“Thank god, the orphanage authorities groomed me as a player and gave me everything I wanted to grow as a young player,” Jubair says.

It was the JDT table tennis coach Aneerban Dutt, a native of Howrah district in West Bengal, who found this young talent. “When we started coaching children as we normally do with the orphanage inmates, this boy was seen as much ambitious, giving us hope. We decided to provide him with anything and everything that he needs to become a table tennis prodigy,” Dutt says.

According to Dutt, JDT along with the Table Tennis Academy Calicut, spends Rs 1.5 lakh per year to help the poor boy to meet his expenses. Jubair lost his father in childhood. He says: “My mother has poor financial background, it was quite unaffordable for her to even develop my talent for being a national player.”

“My mother was struggling to meet the expenses (of my studies) when JDT extended a helping hand by offering adequate support and facilities. I owe much to the JDT, they discovered the table tennis in me,” Jubair adds.

As yet, Jubair hasn’t tasted a medal win at the national stage. The present title holder of cadet boys in the All-Kerala Table Tennis Tournament, is now eyeing on the national level competition after getting selected by the board. “My long cherished dream is a National Games medal,” he says.

Dutt, who now acts both as his mentor and trainer, says there is no stopping the young boy, who with proper expert training, can easily reach the national level.

Both Jubair and his coach lay thrust on his performance in the recent tournaments. “I hope I can bag more medals in the up-coming event with the support of the orphanage authorities,” the boy says.

The young player has kept pace with studies too and got a good name from his teachers by gaining a fair curricular result. The city honoured the table tennis prodigy at a function organised here by the Table Tennis Academy Kozhikode at Hotel Alakapuri on Wednesday.

JDT Islam secretary C P Kunju Mohammed handed over the memento to Jubair, just days before he went to Ajmer for training.


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