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Happy go lucky? Surely not these Goans! (4/10/2012)
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Happy go lucky? Surely not these Goans!

By Jayadev Calamur

April 9, 2012: Mumbai: For a state that has a population of approximately 14.5 lakh, Goa has produced a plenty of sportspersons. This, despite the belief that Goans are laidback and a happy-go-lucky lot. That belief may be true but when it comes to sport, the Goans suddenly come alive and get passionate and fiery. It’s like the typical Goan is another person when he is playing.

Several Goans have played the international sport. While all of them may not have represented India, they are part of former hockey player Avitus D’Cruz’s book Goans In Sport.The book was launched here on Monday.

Famous Goan sportspersons like Eliza Nelson, who captained India’s women’s hockey team at the 1988 Asian Games, former hockey player Joaquim Carvalho and India’s only FIFA-certified referee Alex Vaz were some of the personalities present on the dais.

For Carvalho, it was a matter of pride. “It is the first time that a Goan has written about Goa,” he said. “I am proud to be part of it,” he said. D’Cruz said, “It’s a true array of Goan men and women with varied talent. If the writings in the book have any inspiration on the future sportspersons, then I will be a very happy man.”

It wasn’t an easy job compiling the book, D’Cruz said. “I had sent a questionnaire via courier to 40 persons, but only two replied. I travelled to Goa to meet some players, but when they would tell me to meet them at Madgaon, they would still be at Panjim,” he laughed. “Some of the people profiled have represented countries like Canada and the US. However, they still have their Goan pride and were happy to be profiled.”

What about the current crop of hockey players going to London? D’Cruz said that they played well in the Olympic qualifiers, but the competition in London would be a lot tougher.

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