India U-17 footballer Aveka Singh

India U-17 footballer Aveka Singh signs for American college football club

India U-17 footballer Aveka Singh

In yet another landmark moment of Indian football, U-17 women’s footballer Aveka Singh signed for American club UC Irvine Anteaters, the club announced on Friday.

The UC Irvine Anteaters are the athletic teams fielded by the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine). Its athletics programs participate in the NCAA’s Division I. The women’s football team, who participate in the College Football League of Big West Conference, added seven new recruits including Aveka, a playmaker hailing from Delhi.

The 16-year-old, who idolises Brazilian star Neymar, picked up the ropes after her school decided to form a football team for girls. She started out as a left winger but nine years on since starting out, Aveka has developed into an attacking midfielder.

She has represented India at U-15 level – winning the SAFF title in 2018 in Bhutan. The youngster was also seen in action at the Junior Girls’ National Football Championship 2019-20 as well as the Hero U17 Women’s Championship in 2019.

Aveka could have been a part of the Indian squad at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the World Cup was scrapped, most of the young footballers who had hopes of appearing in it were left rueing their chances.

Not Aveka, however, as she has found a new challenge albeit in foreign shores.

Among other Indians across sports, high jumper Tejaswin Shankar is enrolled in a four-year athletics scholarship to the Kansas State University and turns out for K-State Athletics. Basketball player Vaishnavi Yadav had also signed up for USA’s Pensacola State team last year.

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