Spectacular Cultural Programmes by the School Students Enthral Audience




Port Blair, Dec. 26: The Prestigious 58th SGFI National Football Championship for the boys under 19 began today at Netaji Stadium today. The Students of the different schools presented spectacular cultural programmes, which kept the audience spell bound. The participating teams presented impressive March past.

Addressing the inaugural function, the Chief Guest, Secretary Education Mr. D.N Singh said that the mega tournament extends opportunity to the players of different states and UTs to share a common platform and thus the bond of National Integration gets strengthened.

The special guest on this occasion the Member of Parliament Mr. Bishnu Pada Ray on the occasion expressed his happiness for organising the event and said that it’s matter of pride for the Islanders that the National Championship is being hosted by the Islands for the sixth time. He wished the visiting teams a memorable stay here. The MP stayed back for the entire inaugural match and later met the teams in person.

Earlier welcoming the guest the Chairman of the Organising Committee and the Director Education Dr. R Dev Das said that the best players from the Championship will be selected, who will be representing India in the forthcoming World School Soccer Championship to be held in France next Year. He informed that apart from the Netaji Stadium, this time the matches will be held in the newly developed Play field at the JNRM campus also. The guests released the Souvenir of the Tournament.

In the inaugural Match the team of Andaman & Nicoabar Islands defeated the team of Uttrakhand by 3-1 in an exciting encounter. Both the teams looked equal in the beginning and the first half of the game went goalless. In the second half Shahrukh Ahmed of the visiting team scored a superb goal and put his team ahead. The local boys then came back strongly and succeeded in scoring 3 goals. The football lovers got the opportunity to witness high class football. For the winners Captain Russel scored one goal and Dinesh scored two.

Tomorrow six matches are scheduled to be held at both venues. This time 25 teams are participating in the National Football Championship.

Earlier addressing the team managers and coaches of the different teams in the coordination meeting held at Andaman Club yesterday, the Chairman of the Organising Committee and the Director of Education Dr. R. Devdas said that all the basic facilities have been ensured for the teams. He called upon the teams to ensure fair play during the Championship. The player learns values of life in a play, which shapes his personality, he said. Dr. Devdas, cutting the cake on this occasion, wished the teams a Merry Christmas.

Speaking on the occasion the Director Sports Mr. Lucas Robert requested the teams to cooperate for the smooth conduct of the National event. The observer deputed by the SGFI for this National Championship Mr. Chacko Joseph informed that the best players will be selected from this Championship, who will be representing India in the forthcoming World School Football Championship, to be held in France in April next Year. Appreciating the organising team, he said that the Islands have set very high standards in organizing the National Championship in the past many years, and bagged the Best Organisation Award for the last two consecutive years.

The Organsing Secretary and the Vice President of SGFI Mr. V. Ranjit Kumar informed that the best possible facilities have been ensured for the visiting teams. He said that the ANIIDCO has come forward to provide milk for the boys, while the Municipal Council has agreed to provide the refreshment to the players during the matches. Mr. Ranjit said that the Ex- Star footballer Bhaichung Bhutia is expected to come to Port Blair for the inauguration of the newly developed football field at JNRM Campus. 

Proposing the vote of thanks the Assistant Director Dr. R.N. Prasad appealed to all the teams to cooperate in making this tournament a grand success.

Renowned veteran Sportsmen from the Islands Mr. Norender Lall Saha, Mr. S.V. Bhakta, Mr. Joy Kumar Roy and Mr. Abdul Azeem were also present in the meeting.