HE may be pint-sized for his age, but don’t underesti-mate his potential of be-coming a successful runner.
Dinesh Joseph, 12, from SK Ban-dar Tasik Mutiara recently clocked 6:54s covering a distance of 2km during a cross-country competition at the Mengkuang Dam in Bu-kit Mertajam.
In the event, the Year Six pupil beat about 100 other participants to emerge not only the Nibong Te-bal zone level champion, but also the state-level Under-12 cham-pion.
It was organised by the Pe- nang Schools Sports Council (MSSPP) at both district and state-level.
“I enjoy running. I usually do five laps round the school field every day.
“I also practise running up and down the staircase as well as taking long strides,” he said after receiving a commendation certificate from Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah at the school recently.
But behind Dinesh’s occasional smiles was sadness in his face.
Asked why no family member had accompanied him to the ceremony, Dinesh said he came from a broken family.
“I have not seen my father but have met my mother a few times.
“I live with my grandparents D. Munisamy and M. Muniamah in Bandar Tasek Mutiara.
“They are unable to come as they are quite old,” he said.
Dinesh’s sports teacher N. Kanabathy, 29, said Dinesh is an active and hardworking pupil, noting that he won the school cross-country competition last year.
“We did not realise his po- tential in athletics until recently. He comes from a poor family and is a little malnourished.
“He hopes to join the army when he grows up,” he said.