KOHIMA, Nov 9: Officials from the Departments of Youth Resources & Sports (YRS), Information & Public Relations (IPR) & Nagaland Football Association (NFA) visited the Maharana Club and Cotton University, Guwahati on 9 November 2018.
This initiative is being carried out by the Government of Nagaland as part of the yearlong celebration in honor of the legendary footballer, Dr. T. Ao from Changki Village on his 100th Birth Anniversary. He was the first Olympian from Nagaland who captained Indian Football Team to the Summer London Olympics Games in 1948. The main objective of this tour is to meet and interact with the officials of the Maharana Club and faculty members of the Cotton University from where he studied and started his career as a professional footballer.
While interacting with them, the officials apprised them of initiatives and programs undertaken by the Government of Nagaland so far stating that the government had declared the year 2018 as the yearlong celebration of Dr. T. Ao. At the same time, they have also invited them to be a part of the culmination program which is slated for 28 January 2019 at Kohima.
President, Maharana Athletics Club, Rana Pratap Bordoloi thanked the officials for visiting the club and assured them that he would be a part of the culmination program next year. He said it was under the leadership of Dr. T. Ao, the club gained popularity in terms of fame and recognition all over India. He said Dr. T. Ao represented the Club to various tournaments across the country and won trophies at different levels. He further said the club was still remembering him and his contemporaries as they were the players who had left with an indelible mark in the history of football not only in Assam but also at the national level.
Vice Chancellor, Cotton University, Professor, BC Goswami, while interacting with the officials, also highly praised the legendary footballer for his immense contributions and leadership provided not only to the University but also the country at large. “We are short in stature but endowed with talents”, he said. “If Chinese and Korean can do it why can’t we”, he asked. He further said the only thing they had to emphasize more was on ‘imparting extensive training and providing infrastructure’. Recalling the history of college tournaments, he said prior to India’s independence there were only two colleges in Assam namely, Murari Chand College, Sylhet now Bangladesh and Cotton College, Guwahati. And they used to play football match every year but unfortunately, the Cotton College was defeated every year by MC College for 14 years consecutively. However, after Dr. T. Ao took over as the captain of the college team, they started winning the matches for which they were inspired and cherished him till today, he said.
He also mentioned the planning to build a new indoor stadium which he said would be the state of the art. He said the new stadium would be named as Dr. T. Ao Indoor stadium for which he urged the Government of Nagaland to come forward and consider their proposal on sharing basis.
The team was led by Addl. Director, YRS, Rato Pusa. He was accompanied by Assistant Director, YRS, Jakedovo Chase, APRO, IPR, Nongozo Rikha, Video journalist, Bendangsunep Jamir, Former International footballer & holder of ‘B’ license, Roko Angami, Junior State Coach, Ruopfu Meyase and Head, Youth Development, Football Club Aizawl & the only ‘A’ license holder from Nagaland, William Koso.