Football promotes unity in diversity in north-east

November 1st, 2010 - 9:14 pm ICT by ANI  

By Vaschipem Kamodang
Jorhat, Nov.1 (ANI): Football is to North-East what cricket is to the rest for the country. The passion for football among the people of the north-east has led to opening of various football clubs here.

One of such football clubs is located in Jorhat. The buddying players are keen to learn the skills of the game. Jail Road Sports Club, established in 64 years ago in Jorhat, is a major draw among aspiring football players from all across the region.At this football club there are over 200 students aged between 8 to 18 who enjoy playing football together with enthusiasm, regardless of their caste, creed or ethnicity. Here it looks players belonging to different tribes like the Nagas, Maitis, Bodo, Mishing or even Bengali, all have associated themselves to one religion - football. This club displays how oneness can be promoted through football.

“Sports can bring people together; I am from Nagaland and studying in Assam. I do not know what people talk about me, but I like to play football and through it I have got to know people of Assam well and I have made a lot of friends,” said Chuba Aier, one of the Naga players.

“Through sports we can promote brotherhood and friendship. When we play together at a tournament, we get to meet people from other areas,” said Ranjan Khangenbam of Manipur. The youth in north-eastern states are passionate about football and most of them wish to emulate popular players like Baichung Bhutia, Sunil Chetri and Gaurmangi Singh. Players from the north-east have a significant presence at the national level and they represent a variety of clubs. The craze for football in north-east is growing. This is evident from the emergence of as Shillong-based Lajong Football Club that became the first club from the region to qualify for Indian football’s Elite I-League. By visiting the north-east region, one learns that the players here have immense talent.

“People from north-east have capability and talent and they can do really well for their country,” said Chuba Aier, a Naga. Sports has emerged as the best-career option

“Young students should focus on studies as well as sports because it keeps them healthy. It also translates into jobs for many who go on to play at state level or national level,” said Bhubon Borah, a technical coach.But there is general feeling here that the region can bring out many players, provided, there is proper infrastructure to groom the available talent. “Players do not have good infrastructure. During the national games that were held in Assam, there was some development in the infrastructure for sports but the facilities are still far from what they should have been,” says Nobin Borah, coach of the Jorhat Sports Club. The State Governments are becoming conscious of the need to encourage sports and changes are taking place in the region. (ANI)

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