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CM Lal Thanhawla launched a new initiative to provide football training to children 

CM Lal Thanhawla launched a new initiative to provide football training to children

Aizawl, the 24th June 2016 : Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla yesterday launched a new initiative aimed at providing formal football training to young children of the state at Lammual. The initiative called ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan –  Tata Trusts Grassroots Football Development Programme’ aims to provide formal coaching facilities in football to 3000 young children between the ages of 6 and 14 years who are studying in government and government-aided schools through 60 Grassroots Development Centres. The occasion which was also graced by the School Education Minister Shri H. Rohluna, Sports & Youth Services Minister Pu Zodintluanga and other high ranking officials of the state government also saw the presence of Indian Football Team Captain Shri Jeje Lalpekhlua and famed footballers – S. Malsawmtluanga (Mama) and Lalrindika Ralte (Didika) who are currently playing for East Bengal.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Shri Lal Thanhawla said though Mizoram has scripted a successful story in the Indian football scene in the last couple of years, a lot still remains to be done and achieved. He expressed happiness at the fact that football has become means of livelihood for the talented footballers of Mizoram who are playing for various Clubs across the country and has brought fame and wealth to them. Lauding the efforts of the apex football organization of the state – the Mizoram Football Association, he said ‘due to their untiring efforts and missionary zeal in the promotion of football, a young talented Mizo now dons the coveted position of Captain of the Indian Football Team and today Mizoram is recognized as the Football Factory of the country’. Talking about the state of football in the country, he said ‘if women’s football is encouraged and supported adequately our women’s team can climb up the global rankings much faster than their male counterparts, where we still have a long way to go, he added. He further remarked that more girls should be encouraged to take up the game, as football is not an exclusive preserve of just men.

 Under the SSA-Tata Trusts Grassroots Football Development Programme, a total of 60 Grassroots Football Centres are being established across 6 Districts of Mizoram. 3000 children have been selected to receive football training in these centres, thrice a week after school hours. Each centre will select 50 students for imparting training under a Trainer and an Assistant Trainer. The project will encourage young girls to take up football as the terms of the project have set criteria, that a minimum of 5 girls must be selected for each such Centre.

The project cost pegged at Rs. 2.73 crores will have a contribution of Rs. 1.67 crores from the North East Initiative Development Agency, an arm of the Tata Trusts while the remaining amount of Rs. 1.06 will be contributed by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan factored as salaries for the coaches who will be employed as Physical Instructors under SSA.

Shri Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Trusts who was expected to grace the launching programme could not make it due to an urgent official meeting in Mumbai. Biswanath Sinha, Associate Director,Tata Trusts who represented the philanthropic arm of the Tatas at the function said that through NEIDA, the Trusts will be investing 30 crores for setting up Centres of Excellence in Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya and Bodoland Territorial Council area of Assam. From these Centre of Excellence, promising students will be sent to Germany for training under a major German Club for 6 years, he added. Besides football, Tata Trusts have inked agreements to improve livestock, agriculture and horticulture in the state.  

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