Kolkata, Oct 1 (UNI) The Under-14 rugby champion Indian team returned home almost unsung here today.
The tribal boys from Bhubaneaswar-based Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), who trounced a South African side to win the 10-nation tournament in London on Saturday, were barely recognised at the airport when they returned to Kolkata on Monday.
That KISS had organised a media interactive session at a city hotel gave the scribes the opportunity to share the feelings with the boys. The organisers, when asked, clarified that it was a tournament where 10 schools from 10 countries participated. The Orissa boys emerged triumphant.
The young boys were pretty jubilant and the founder secretary of KIIT and KISS, Dr Achyuta Samanta said, ''The win is the result of hard work of the young boys and prayers of the students of KISS and well-wishers of the young Indian team. It is a matter of great pride for our institute, the tribal community, state and the country.'' He also said that KISS will try to send some of these boys to the clubs in Europe for exposure. Dr Samanta hoped that this win will help increase the popularity of rugby in the country.
The Indian side was placed in Group 2 and played their first match against Zambian side Kitwe Minors.
The other three teams in the group are Ingwe (Swaziland), Maasai Cheetahs (Kenya) and RC Ariesul Spartans (Romania).
Group 1 has teams like Kambujabutra (Cambodia), Langa Lions (South Africa), Ciorescu School (Moldova), Mountain Gorillas (Rwanda) and Snow Leopards (Kazakhstan).
Squad: Raj Kishore Murmu (captain), Babula Melaka, Hadidhangada Majhi, Bikash Chandra Murmu, Chhitaranjan Murmu, Niranjan Biswal, Barial Beshra, Bukai Hansdah, Sahadev Majhi, Narsingh Kerai, Ganesh Hembram, Gouranga Jamuda.
Rudrakesh Jena (Teacher), James Matthew (Manager) and Sailen Tudu, Sanjay Patra (Coach) UNI