NSF Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy kicks off
Kohima, Sep. 21 (EMN): One of the most awaited sporting events in Nagaland, the 20th NSF Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy 2019, kicked off at the Khuochiezie local ground on Saturday, September 21, in Kohima where students and sports enthusiasts came to witness the game.
The tournament is organised by the Angami Students’ Union in memory of late Kekuojalie Sach and late Vikhozo Yhosh, two martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of students’ community in 1986.
This year, a total of 37 teams will be vying for the coveted trophy, which will conclude on October 30.
“Football is the one of the most important sports and it is indeed the most entertaining game of the world today,” said Zale Neikha, advisor of Youth Resources and Sports, during his speech as the special guest of the event. He stated that sports play an important role in creating a sense of oneness and togetherness among the citizens as it builds a strong character and it contributes in nation development.
He expressed that Nagas have a long way to go in the development of sports but with proper guidance and motivation, Nagas can excel in sports. He also encouraged the audience by saying, “Our state government cannot guarantee jobs for every fresh graduates, but sports as a discipline can be a source of income and sustain through advertisement, marketing and sponsorship”, and urged the people to give equal importance in the school curriculum as sports development should begin at an early age.
“The Department of Youth Resource and Sports in the objecive to nurture the young footballers for the future has initiated free coaching camp for boys and girls under the age of 14 at the Indira Gandhi Stadium every Wednesday and Saturday”, he stated.
He also appealed to the school authority of the state to be more practical and give opportunities to the students to explore their hidden talents and develop their creativity.
Neikha commented “In our state we have become accustomed of depending on the government for fund, infrastructural development and other facilities”.
He further challenged the esteemed citizens of Nagaland to come together and establish football clubs and also provide scholarships to the players as it will enable the talented footballers to improve their skills and tactics and become professionals in the future.
“Peoples’ Democratic Alliance is taking keen interest in promoting Nagaland Premier League in our state. The concerned department along with the stake holders is working out to initiate the league soon”, he said, adding that participation in this league matches will encourage the footballers to improve their techniques while exposing them to the bigger arena.
Vizokho Zashumo, president of Angami Students’ Union stated “We are living in an age where our society is in very strong pursuit for peace and it appears as though it is a mere dramatic pursuit but we require this important task than ever before”.
He added that the main objective of the trophy is “to best remember our martyrs and mark the location by transcending beyond hate and mistrust” . Together, our task is to preserve the power of the human element capable of doing good, he added.
As a part of their campaign to initiate plastic-free Kohima, he appealed everyone to discard the use of plastic throughout the tournament and also to make conscious effort toward sanitation and cleanliness. “As responsible citizens and the hope of tomorrow, the students need to take the lead in protecting the environment and care for our mother earth”, he added.
They also gave out tree saplings as a momento to encourage the people to cut less and plant more which was initiated in collaboration with Kohima Municipal Council and the forest department of Kohima division.
“We celebrate the aspirations of younger generation for peace through sports”, stated Ninoto Awomi, President of Naga Students’ Federation. He also commented that this tournament has become the most iconic sport event in the Northeast India and that the sacrifice of the two martyrs’ has made all the difference.
In the first match of the tournament, defending champion Centurion FC Kohima village thrashed Poimi SU Kohima 5-0. Kevisalie Sechű of Centurion FC Kohima village scored the first goal in the 3rd minute while Yhunshalo Kemp scored four goals in the 29th, 31st, 49th and 72nd minute respectively.