All Sikkim Scheduled Caste Welfare Association has announced to organise the first edition of Dr BR Ambedkar Football Tournament from April 1 to 14 here at Paljor Stadium. The football tournament is a main highlight of the state-level celebration of the 127th birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar.
This open knock-out football tournament will have premier division clubs and other teams from Sikkim and outside. Sixteen teams from Sikkim, Kalimpong and Jaigaon have already confirmed their participation in the tournament. A team from Nepal is also likely to join the tournament. The last date for the registration in the tournament is March 25. The tournament carries the cash prizes of Rs 1 lakh for the winner and Rs 70,000 for the runners-up.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, ASSCWA president, Shekhar Sewa said the celebration committee has been formed to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti this year. Health Minister AK Ghatani is the chief patron of the committee. He further said another committee has also been formed to conduct the football tournament which has been headed by former MLA Aita Singh Baraily as the chairman and Ranjan Kumar Pariyar as vice-chairman. The committee also has Thupten Rapgyal as the chief coordinator and Bimal Bagdas as coordinator.
“We have been working in education, social and other fields and this time we have decided to encourage our youths in sports through such tournament. Sport is the best medium to engage youths in healthy and productive manners and to further hone their talent,” Sewa said. He said the tournament has also targeted to bring out talented footballers from different corners of the state.
Dr BR Ambedkar Football Tournament organising committee chairman Baraily said the committee will also select promising and talented players of the state from the tournament and will be trained further under better coaches. He urged MLAs of every constituency to send a good team each from their constituency in the tournament. He further urged them to encourage youths of their respective constituency in the healthy and productive activities.
Baraily urged industrial units, government departments and social organisations to support local talents and initiative of the association. He informed that the tournament would be an annual event at this same period every year. He further shares plan to organise the tournament in the national level in the near future by bringing in big clubs from the outside.
Organising committee vice-chairman Pariyar said such tournament will encourage youths to lead a productive and positive life.