By Review Nepal
Guwahati, May 1 : Urging the youth of the state to take sports as a way of life and aspire to achieve excellence in sporting fields, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday said that sports is a universal unifying factor through which qualities such as honesty and dedication can be imbibed.
While speaking at the inaugural function of OORJA- CAPF under 19 Football Talent Hunt Tournament organized by Sasastra Seema Bal (SSB) in memory of renowned footballer of the state Babul Bora at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati, the Assam CM said that tournaments like these are an effort to realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of making India a sporting powerhouse.
Sonowal stated that the forthcoming Under 17 Football World Cup will be huge opportunity for the country to make big strides in footballing map of the world and rapidly develop sports infrastructure in the country.
'As Guwahati is chosen one of the venues for the global event, the government is leaving no stone unturned to capitalize on this golden opportunity to revolutionize the sporting arena in the state. The youth of the state must draw inspiration from legendary footballers like Babul Phukan and Gilbertson Sangma who achieved excellence despite hailing from remote interior corners of the state and they must strive for excelling in chosen sports field and bring laurels to the state and the country at the world stage through hard-work and dedication,' Sonowal said.
The Assam CM also said that good human beings committed to the cause of the society can be created through sports and parents and teachers have vital role to play in this regard by encouraging and motivating youngsters to take up sports in earnest.
Reiterating then government's vision of making Guwahati the sports capital of the country, Sonowal said that sports tournaments at the school and village levels would be organized in a massive way for unearthing sporting talents who can be nurtured for future excellence.
Saying that top class tournaments of boxing, badminton apart from Himalayan Sports Tournament have been scheduled to be held in the state in near future Sonowal stated that the government is committed to build world class infrastructure for sports at district and village levels for giving momentum to sports revolution in the state.
MLA Riuparna Barua, Chief Secretary V.K Pipersenia, DGP Assam Police Mukesh Sahay, IGP SSB Bhanu Upadhaye among others also present on the occasion.
On the other hand, Nagaland State league CAPF U-19 football Talent Hunt Tournament organised by Assam Rifles, HQ IGAR (North) kicked off at Kohima on Monday amidst endearing tunes of Pipe band and loud cheers of joy of young Boys and Girls.
Nagaland Home minister Yanthungo Patton graced the occasion as the Chief Guest alongwith other civil dignitaries, officials of Nagaland football Association and Nagaland referee Association.
Speaking on the occasion the Nagaland minister mentioned the significance of Oorja tournament.
'It is an initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with objective of the tournament to be part of Mission XI Million and imbibing more passion and creating more platforms for the young football enthusiast of India. Assam Rifles is doing significant service by conducting Capt N Kenguruse football tournament every year in memory of son of the soil martyr late Capt N Kenguruse, MVC at Kohima and keeping the state safe from any law and order problem while maintaining peace and tranquility in the region,' Patton said.
He also brought to knowledge that first Nagaland Captain of Indian football team in 1963 at London Olympics was Dr. T. Ao who was popularly known as the 'Barefoot Player'.
Post speech the games were declared open by the Chief Guest by releasing pigeons. All teams attired in various colorful outfits appeared as a rainbow and pledged to play the sports with all fairness and sportsman sprit.
A total of 20 players in both boys and girls category will be selected to represent the State at Shillong for further selection to represent North East at New Delhi
The tournament is being played by 8 teams each in both boys and girls categories.
Boys matches will be played at Kohima local ground and girls matches at IG Stadium. Final of both girls & boys will be played at Kohima local ground on May 8.
On Monday KV Kohima won by State Boys Hostel by 6-0 margin in boys
category while Christ King Higher Secondary School defeated KV Dimapur by a margin of 3-0 in girls category.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)