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No barriers for Sharma

The 17-year-old Gospel High School student took part in the recent Vodafone Fiji Secondary Schools Championship in Ba, along with dozens of others.
Playing up front for his school’s U-19 team Sharma looked like every other player on the field, enjoying every minute of a game he loves.
However he’s a little different to his teammates. Sharma is a deaf-mute.
Speaking through his interpreter Donald Reez, Sharma said he started playing football at the age of 11.
“Most of the time I watch famous players play and that is where my interest in football was generated, “Sharma said.
He said in the beginning he had some difficulties joining in but now he enjoys each and every moment of the game.
“When I started I used to be ignored because of my disabilities, but now that everyone knows me I find it fun and enjoyable.”
The Verata, Nausori-native said he no longer has any difficulties playing football.
“When I play, for most of the 40 minutes I think about how I’m expending my energy and think that I want to play longer. It helps me to heighten the qualities of my play.
“Scoring is my most important mission,” Sharma said. “If I can develop it further, I will be able to obtain trust (from my teammates) that I can surely score if they pass the ball to me and that the team’s rhythm will not collapse even when the team is struggling. I want to grow as a key player in my team.”
He said he is inspired by Rewa striker and 2015 Sportsman of the Year winner Losefo Verevou, who resides in the same village.
“Sefo is my mentor and I always play with him at home and he helps me with skills,” Sharma said of the U-23 striker.
He said he is thankful that despite having a disability, he’s also been given a talent he can still make the most of.
“I thank God because has blessed all of us with different talents.
“When we know our talents, we shall surely live, not die nor remain in the same situation we have always been.
“Talent or talents are given freely to each and every human being without any payment. They are priceless.”
Sharma said many people do not understand what a talent is.
“Some believe a talent is something that could be prayed for, received from parents, churches, pastors, prophets, bishops or bought from some supermarket.
“Yet the actual meaning of a talent is natural aptitude, gift or skill.
“In other words, a talent is an ability, technique, flair, expertise, capacity, power, strength, knack, cleverness, virtuosity or artistry freely and naturally given to us by God so that we may live life better.
“One cannot buy a talent. It does not come from the above mentioned sources but the Creator.”
His father Shashi Sharma said he is proud of his son’s ability to utilise his talent.
“Talent is also given to us in order to help those that do not know their purpose on earth, “said Sharma senior.
“Sometimes we are not even aware of the talents that has given to us until we run into different challenges in life.”
His dad said whether one is blind or deaf, if they develop or nurture the talent in them, they will definitely sustain their livelihood.
“My son is one of them and he always wants to show what he has and that is what I am proud of and support him.
“He plays for our club team in the Rewa local league competitions and he gets a lot of support from other players.
He is also highest goal scorer for his club team so far scoring five goals.”
Sharma’s aim is to play in the district team and show the world that disabilities are not a weakness.
For more on Fiji football visit fijifootball.com.fj


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