Chief Minister Pema Khandu today kicked off the 10-day state level Oorja Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) Under-19 football talent hunt tournament-2017 at Rajiv Gandhi stadium here.
The tournament in the state is being organized by ITBP with logistic support from state department of Sports and Youth Affairs.
Addressing the grand opening ceremony, Khandu lauded the ITBP, North East Frontier, Itanagar, for the arrangements made in organizing the tournament.
He specifically thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for initiating the concept as a run-up to the FIFA Under-19 World Cup to be hosted by India in October this year.
The Prime Minister has called for the support of not only children, but also parents to encourage boys and girls to play football and develop both skill and fitness. The tournament will be a milestone event in many ways, but perhaps most lasting aspect will be Mission XI Million, which is a grassroot programme designed to encourage children to play this popular game.
Khandu informed that the Prime Minister has a vision to initiate similar steps for all other games and sports in near future so that India can compete and compete well in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Speaking about the state’s potential in sports, Khandu said there is no lack of talent and skill but the only hurdle in the growth of sportspersons from the state is lack of basic facilities and training scope. He, however, reiterated the state government’s commitment to provide best of the facilities for growth of sports sector in the state.
The Chief Minister announced that the state government will bear all expenses of sportspersons from the state selected for national level training in any field of sports.
He further informed, “Union Sports Minister Vijay Goelji has assured all out support to the state government and accordingly our sports department is under process of identifying places to establish quality stadiums across the state.”
Meanwhile, ITBP IG Manoj Singh Rawat informed that eight teams each of boys and girls will be competing in the tournament from May 1 to 10 in round-robin league. The winner’s trophy named Chow Indrajit Namchoom trophy will carry a cash award of Rs.50,000 for the winning team, Rs.30,000 and Rs.20,000 for the runners up and second runners up team respectively. Best Player to be selected from both categories will receive a cash award of Rs 4000 each.
Selectors will look out for talented players in both groups and finally choose a team each of boys and girls, which will be competing in the zonal level to be played at Shillong.
In the zonal level Arunachal boys and girls teams will be competing with teams from Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Nagaland.
The winners will then participate in the Prime Minister’s Cup to be held at New Delhi on July 25 next.
In a novel turn, the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have been tasked to conduct ‘Oorja’, – CAPFs Under-19 Football Talent Hunt Tournament – 2017. CAPFs will be jointly organizing the tournament under the aegis of All India Police Sports Control Board throughout the country.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Sports & Youth Affairs Parliamentary Secretary Nyamar Karbak, RWD Parliamentary Secretary Jambey Tashi, State Sports Authority Chairman Bamang Tago, renowned footballer Gumpe Rime, state DGP, all ranks of ITBP and state government officials.
The opening match of the tournament was played between the girl teams of Kendriya Vidyalaya No 2 and ITBP Public School Aalo.