PM Modi to lay foundation for flood lighting system
IMPHAL, 18th Dec: In a significant initiative to develop football at the grassroots level in Manipur, the state government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Centre for Microfinance and Livelihood (CML), an associate organisation of Tata Trusts on Monday.
A function to mark the momentous occasion was held at National Sports Academy, Khuman Lampak in the presence of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Letpao Haokip and representatives of CML and Tata Trusts. Youth Affairs and Sports Director Armstrong Pame represented the State Government and CML Executive Director Partho Patwari represented the private company.
As per the MoU, 30 Grassroots Football Schools would be set up at different areas including remote areas like Kamjong, Noney, Tamenglong, Churachandpur and Chandel districts, and also a state of the art Centre of Excellence for Football at Khuman Lampak under Tata Trusts Grassroots Football Development Programme. Over 50 boys and girls each will be provided the best of football facilities and guidance in all the 30 Grassroots Football Schools while the Centre of Excellence for Football will have both education and football training facilities for 100 boys. The letter of intent for setting up of this Centre was handed over by the Chief Minister to Burzis S Taraporevala, Senior Advisor of Tata Trusts.
Speaking on the occasion, Biren said that Prime Minister Narendra would lay the foundation stones for the installation of flood lighting systems at Khuman Lampak Main Stadium and Khuman Lampak Hockey Stadium on January 4, 2019. He also informed that astro-turf would be laid at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore in a football ground in Imphal West District and two other football fields would be developed in Thoubal and Mayang Imphal at the cost of Rs 4 crore each soon.
The Chief Minister said that Manipuri footballers have made significant contribution to the Indian national team and also to numerous professional football clubs of the country. Eight boys from the State were there to represent India in the U-17 FIFA World Cup held at Kolkata. Moreover, Manipur is one of the few states of the North East region which has a team of its own in the I-League, he added.
All these accomplishments were achieved despite lack of adequate robust sports infrastructure and limited resources, he said while adding that the state needs the support of all stakeholders including corporate houses and NGOs etc., to ensure good sports infrastructure to players.
Biren also said that he invited Tata Trusts to explore opportunities for collaboration soon after he took over as the Chief Minister of Manipur. With the setting up of GFSs and CFE, the State would be able to produce world-class footballers and realise the dream of India playing in the FIFA World Cup soon. The chief minister also said that he has another dream to see footballers from Manipur playing for the international premier clubs and bring laurels to the state and the nation.
YAS Minister Letpao Haokip said that Manipur has lots of talent not only in football but also in other sports disciplines as well. He also recalled that President of India, Ramnath Kovind called the State as the ‘Sports Capital of India’ while speaking at the opening function of Manipur Sangai Festival - 2017. He also said that the State needs to tap its sports potential in order to occupy its significant place in the world sports arena.
He also expressed hope that the Tata Trusts Grassroots Football Development Programme would definitely help tap and develop talented footballers of the state.
The Chief Minister also felicitated five players of the U-14 boys’ team, who have been selected to be trained at Athletic de Madrid Football Academy at the function. The players are Asem Maingou Singh (Winger), Meramayum Raju (Midfielder), L Rameshor (Winger), N Mahesh Singh (Striker) and Zlex Mangang (Defender).
Secretary (YAS) Bobby Waikhom, Sports Head of Tata Trusts Biswanath Sinha, Jonal Head of (East and North East) of Tata Trusts Vijay Yagnamurthy, international footballers and sports persons were also present at the function.