Ampati, November 20: The Grassroot Football Centre for South West Garo Hills district under the State’s Mission Football was launched on November 18 by Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma at Ampati Students’ Field. Dr Sangma was accompanied by Salmanpara MLA and Government Chief Whip Winnerson Sangma.
The centre is the second amongst ten such centres set to be opened throughout the state with the first one recently inaugurated at Diki Bandi Stadium, West Garo Hills, Tura. The centre will act as a platform for identifying, training and promoting talented football players at the grassroot level.
The government had launched Mission Football on July 21 this year with the sole aim of developing the sport at the grassroot level as well as its infrastructure over the next five years and transform the state into a football powerhouse.
A friendly match between Bhaichung Bhutia’s Royal Sikkum United Football Club and Garo Hills XI teams besides musical treats by renowned musicians from Garo Hills were the highlights of the launch at Ampati. Grassroot football players also displayed their football skills in a synchronized drill during the launch. The friendly exhibition match between the two teams resulted in a draw.
Speaking on Mission Football, Sangma stated that football was a sport that fosters goodwill and that it had the power to unite people. “The mission aims at identifying raw talent and develop them through a robust and comprehensive process” he added. Sangma said that Mission Football would transform Meghalaya into a football powerhouse and enable players to compete at national and international levels. He also urged all stakeholders and especially parents to inspire their talented children to take up football as a career opportunity and promote the game through active participation. The CM also informed that preparations for the football state league was on and urged concerned clubs and organizations to participate in the tourney.
Also addressing the gathering Matsiewdor War Nongbri, Director of Sports and Youth Affairs, stated that the Grassroot Football Centre will provide an opportunity for young talents a platform to hone their skills and enhance their chances to pursue football as a profitable career.