Ampati: Sports and Youth Affairs Minister on 4 December launched and inaugurated the Mission Football Grassroots Centre at Babelapara, Purakhasia in South West Garo Hills. The minister inaugurated the grassroots centre in the presence of local MLA and Government Chief Whip Winnerson D Sangma his wife Norin Ch Sangma, Village Khadi Board Vice Chairman Richard Marak and Assistant Director of Sports and Youth Affairs Jasper P Marak.
After the inauguration hundred, plus grassroots football players selected from the Babelapara grassroots football centre demonstrated their skills in a synchronised drill.
An exhibition football match between Tura XI and Purakhasia XI was also played after the inauguration during which former beat the latter by 1-0.
Addressing the gathering Zenith Sangma said that Mission Football was an ambitious initiative of the government to turn the state into a football powerhouse by using world standard scientific up to date technologies. Under the mission, talented players will be identified at the grassroots level and then trained and groomed by dedicated coaches deployed throughout the state under mission football. Referring to an age old adage ‘’catch them young’’ the Minister said that it was imperative to identify and tap talented youth while they were young and develop them into exceptional players capable of competing at the national and international levels. The mission will also act a catalyst to enable exceptional players to pursue football as a career option and earn a living he added.
Speaking on the government’s dedication to provide opportunities to the youth to excel in sports as well as academics Sangma said that the Chief Minister’s Career Guidance & Counselling scheme (CMCGCS) was conducting coaching classes for MCS and IAS aspirants. Coaching camps for civil service aspirants have been opened at Tura and Ampati under the CMCGCS he said. H e added that the government was dedicated to make polices based on the strengths of state which was natural and human resources.
Government Chief Whip and local MLA Winnerson D Sangma who also spoke on the occasion thanked the department of sports & youth affairs for choosing Babelapara to be one of the grassroots football centre. He stated that mission football was the foundation of football in the state and that the grassroots centres would enable the youth to take up football as a career option.
The government has started massive state of the art sports infrastructure development throughout the state which will act as venues during the upcoming National games he stated. The local MLA later urged the parents of the region to motivate their children and encourage them to utilise the opportunity given by the government and enrol them at the grassroots centre.
Earlier, delivering the welcome address Assistant Director of Sports & Youth Affairs , Jasper P Marak said that Mission Football themed football is for everyone aimed at identifying and developing talent.