The Andaman and Nicobar islands cycling team participating in the Khelo India Youth Games here has a couple of cyclists whose names may excite football and cricket fans.
Seventeen-year-olds David Beckhame and Paul Collingwood may have names of the famous English football star and former England cricket captain respectively, but the two have shone in a different field - cycling.
Beckhame, who claimed the boys’ under-17 individual time trial (500m), has also played a bit of football. “My family is a huge fan of David Beckham, so they named me after him. I also became a David Beckham fan. I used to play football, played in the Subroto Cup tournament. Then, my grandfather asked me to take up cycling,” said Beckhame.
“I started cycling in Delhi in 2017. In the beginning, my feet didn't touch the ground when I sat on the cycle seat. Eventually, I started doing well. It's difficult to find facilities for cycling in Andaman, so I have to go to bigger cities for training,” said the 17-year-old.
Beckhame has seen a lot of ups-and-downs in life to emerge as a tough cyclist. “I live with my maternal grandfather now. My mother passed away due to an infection in 2014 and my father passed away due to the Tsunami in 2004. I was quite young when my father passed away.”
About his targets in the sport, Beckhame said, “I have not set any specific goals for myself yet. I am just focusing on giving my best during training and hope that I taste success in the near future.”
Collingwood, who bagged a silver medal in boys under-21 200m sprint, is a shy guy, who loves to express himself on the cycling track. “My father was never a big cricket fan and I have no idea why I was named after the famous English cricketer. Sometimes I play cricket for fun, but never took it seriously,” said Collingwood, who has won a bronze medal in the National junior championships and has represented India in the Track Asia Cup.
“I loved cycling and was happy when I was selected during a talent hunt programme in 2016. My family supports me in pursuing the sport and I hope to do even better in future,” added Collingwood.
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