Sports run in his blood. Mohammed Shahad plunged into the world of soccer as an 8-year-old when his mother A Haseena, an athlete, used to kick football with him at a ground near their home.
Shahad, goalie of Gokulam Football Club, started his club football journey with the Palayad Kickers Club in Kannur district. Later, he donned the jerseys of Pune FC, Bengaluru FC and United Punjab before joining the ranks of Kozhikode-based Gokulam FC.
He was also fortunate to represent India in the Dubai International Super Cup as part of the Sports & Education Promotion Trust (SEPT), which was established to promote sports in India with special focus on football.
Haseena, who is working at the State’s Groundwater Department in Kannur, finished with a record time in 5,000m walk in the Kerala State Masters Meet. Haseena returned to the track after a long gap after hanging her boots after school education. While studying at Palayad high school, Haseena used to participate in running and long jump competitions at the district level. She was also a state-level Kabbadi player. Haseena got married to Majeed, who was a member of the Wayanad district volleyball team, after completing Class XII and had to shelve her dreams of becoming an athlete.
Haseena took part in an athletics championship organized by her office after much cajoling by her colleagues, and later participated in a district-level service meet in which she came first in three events. But the state championship was nixed due to the floods last year. Though she competed only in the 5,000m walk in the State Masters Meet, she can run in 200m and 400m in the national meet, to be held in Jaipur in Rajasthan this year, as she excelled in those events in the district-level championships.
Haseena is gearing up for the national championship with the help of Shahad who is currently training for the Kerala Football Association (KFA) league. Her other children are BDS student Majidha and 8-year-old Ijlal.
Haseena initiated Shahad to the world of sports at the age of eight and her drill involved kicking football to her son. From the humble ground near to their home, Shahad grew into one of the best promising goalkeepers in the state and cemented his place in the state junior football team. Later, he featured in many prominent soccer clubs of the country. Meeting Diego Maradona, one of the legends of football, in Dubai, was something special for Shahad. Though Shahad was selected for the under-17 India team camp for the World Cup, he couldn’t attend due to knee injury.