Port Blair, Oct 08:The 4th Inter Zonal State Level School Football Knockout Tournament for U-14 (Boys) and U-17 (Boys & Girls) organized by the Department of Education in coordination with the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs got underway with its inauguration by the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Anindo Majumdar at Netaji Stadium on 07 October. The Secretary (Education) Smti Tanvi Garg, PBMC Chairperson, Mr. IP Singh, Director (Sports) Mr. A.K.Trivedi, Deputy Director Education (Admn) Mr. Shubankar Gosh, other senior officers of the Administration and a good number of football enthusiasts were present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering the Chief Secretary expressed happiness in being part of this tournament. He said, the tournaments are conducted with an aim to promote sports, inculcate the spirit of sportsmanship and also to discover new talents who can further be nurtured into finest players. He also congratulated Master Robigon, an Islander whose talent was spotted during the SGFI and he represented the country at the International level in the U-18, 45th Asian School Football Tournament at Iran recently.
The Chief Secretary further stated that A&N Islands has a great tradition of sports, football in particular. Nicobar Island has in the past given a number of footballers to the country; he said, adding that the Car Nicobar School use to win the Subroto Mukherjee cup for years which speaks volume of the talents available. He also expressed hope that the glorious tradition of football is revived here in the Islands with the contributions of all the players.
The Chief Secretary also lauded the Department of Education and Sports for conducting a number of sports events which played a great role in promoting sports in these Islands. He also lauded the stupendous performance exhibited by the participants during the BSF Oorja Cup which was held at Port Blair recently.
The Chief Secretary also informed about the first ever U-17 FIFA World Cup hosted by India, which was inaugurated by the Prime Minister in Delhi recently. The tournaments are being conducted in different parts of the country and the finals will be held at Kolkata on Oct 28, he said adding that this will give the country a strong fillip for development of football in the country. He also bestowed his best wishes to the players of this tournament and urged them to play fair.
Earlier, the Chief Secretary hoisted the flag and declared the tournament open. This was followed by the oath taking ceremony by Ms Varsha of GSSS Boys. The Chief Secretary also interacted with the team members and handed over the match ball to the referee and unveiled the Championship Trophy.
In the inaugural match played today, Mayabunder Zone (GMSSS, Mayabunder) defeated Diglipur Zone (GSSS, Kishorinagar) by 5-0 goals.
About 27 teams consisting of 412 participants (U-14(Boys)-134, U-17(Boys)-138, U-17(Girls)-140) and 54 Officials from nine Educational Zones from all over the Islands are participating in the Championship. The Championship which began today will continue upto Oct. 11.
Earlier, welcoming the gathering, the Deputy Director Education (Admn.) Mr. Shubankar Gosh congratulated the players of all the nine zones, coaches and referees for participating in the tournament. He also lauded the zeal and strength of the players for reaching this far and urged them to perform to the best of their ability and to play fair.
The inaugural programme concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by the Deputy Director Education (Planning) Dr.Dheeraj Kumar.