Rio lays “Foundation Stone” of Dr. T Ao Football Academy

SEITHEKEMA, Jun 8: Chief Minister Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio, laid the foundation stone of Dr. T. Ao Regional Football Academy on Friday here at Seithekema C Dimapur in the presence of Speaker and Deputy Speaker Nagaland, hosts of Ministers and Advisors and family members of Late Dr. T. Ao.

The Chief Minister called the “Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony of Dr. T.Ao Regional Football Academy” as historic. “Born among the Nagas, he brought laurels not only to his family but to the whole Nagas, so his legacy should live on,” he maintained.

Rio, who himself is an avid sports lover, pointed out that involvement in sports taught them to be disciplined, creates a sense of fair play and teamwork, and kept them healthy both physically and mentally and therefore encouraged the younger generation to give importance in the field of sports. He felt that youth activities particularly sports had stopped for some time in Nagaland but assured for its revival. He further assured the Nagaland Football Association that budget would be placed every year and also mooted the idea to bring a system where all the districts would have football clubs.

The Chief Minister said the government would discuss and revive policies for sports personnel/lovers and conduct tournaments regularly in order to give an opportunity to the youth. Stating that promotion of sports needs huge financial support, Rio informed that the government would request the Ministry of Youth Resources and Sports for help as the present project would require more than 100 crore which he said was still a long way to go for bringing up the football academy. Rio was optimistic that the coming up of the Academy would inspire the young talented sportspersons, particularly football.

Advisor YRS, Nagaland, Er. Zale Neikha, while welcoming, informed that PDA Government had come out with a policy for giving appointment to sportspersons in different departments under sports quota.

President of Nagaland Football Association, Atuo Mezhur, termed the occasion as a ‘red letter’ day for football in Nagaland. A dream dreamt many years had come to be a reality under the leadership of Rio, the NFA President said. He opined that sports were not just for recreation but an industry because sportspersons could earn their livelihood. He thanked the present government for reviving the Dr. T. Ao Inter District Tournament and also requested the Chief Minister for funding and reviving the Nagaland Premier League.

Secretary-General, Nagaland Olympic Association, Meren Paul narrated the laudable achievements and the hard work and dedication of the football legend.

Senior Pastor, Baptist Mission Church Kohima, Rev. Moa Longchari invoked God’s blessings while Commissioner & Secretary,  YRS Nagaland proposed the vote of thanks. Members of NFA and NOA, Officials from state YRS department, village council members from Seithekema C and other neighboring villages also attended the programme.

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