Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Isles Get Its First Ever Exclusive Foot Ball Stadium

Constant endeavour to augment sporting infrastructure across the isles: LG

Port Blair, May 19: The Lt Governor, Lt Gen (Retd) Bhopinder Singh, PVSM, AVSM inaugurated a football stadium at JNRM College premises in the presence of the First Lady of the Islands, Smt Bhawanee Singh yesterday 18th May 2013.  Beautifully designed, the sprawling football stadium has been constructed with the financial assistance from FIFA and has come up in a scenic location with backdrop of the blue sea and the historical Ross Island.

Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor stated that the people of the Islands are great lovers of sports and our sportspersons had excelled in various disciplines of sports like cycling, kayaking, canoeing and rowing etc. Citing the example of Ms Deborah, the top cyclist, who had achieved remarkable feat by winning one Silver and two Bronze medals at the Asian Cycling Championship, held in New Delhi recently, he stated that it is a great achievement for a small place like our Islands. Several other sportspersons of the Islands had also won awards at the International and National levels in various disciplines of sports.  

Referring to initiatives taken up for augmenting sports facilities in the islands, he stated that Administration is making constant endeavour to upgrade sporting infrastructure and provide scientific training facilities to our sportspersons so that they can excel at higher levels and added that cash awards are given and sports infrastructure are being developed for promotion of sports here. “The Administration will spare no efforts to bring up these sports infrastructure to give maximum opportunity for the sportsmen for upgrading their skills and representing our islands and the country at the national and international levels”, he stated. 

Describing football as one of the very popular sports in the islands, he stated that several of our football players have represented the country and many of them have even played at National level while many of our football players have represented famous football clubs of the country. Further in order to give boost to the budding footballers, setting up of a Football Academy at Car Nicobar is in the process. 

Expressing his gratitude to the sports icon, Shri Baichung Bhutia, Padmashree recipient and Arjun Awardee, who is currently here to participate in the inauguration ceremony of the football stadium, he stated that the presence of the legendary footballer today will not only promote the game of football but would also boost the morale of the young and budding footballers and other soccer lovers of our islands.

In his address, Shri Baichung Bhutia, International Footballer stated that these Islands have huge sporting talents and many of the sportspersons of the islands had brought laurels for the country and islands as well. The soccer team of the Islands had done extremely well in the Subroto Cup Football tournament and through proper exposure and training, the Islands football team can do even better in National and International football tournaments. He further urged the parents to encourage their children to play sports and games so that they can become good sportspersons.    

Later, a short exhibition match was played between Sikkim XI and Andaman & Nicobar team which resulted in draw with both the team scoring one goal each. Football lovers of the islands got the rare opportunity to witness the master footballer Shri Baichung Bhutia showing his football skills during the match.

Earlier, welcoming the chief guest and others, the Secretary (Sports), Shri Rakesh Bali stated that the football stadium had been built with the support of FIFA. The function concluded with a vote of thanks proposed by the Principal, JNRM, Dr. Iqbal Ahmed.