160 kids join ‘Grassroots Football Festival Baby League 2024’

Participants of Grassroots Football Festival Baby League 2024 with parents and officials of the Department of Youth Resources & Sports in Kohima on June 17. (Morung Photo)

Participants of Grassroots Football Festival Baby League 2024 with parents and officials of the Department of Youth Resources & Sports in Kohima on June 17. (Morung Photo)

Our Correspondent
Kohima | June 17

The Department of Youth Resources & Sports, Govt of Nagaland today organised ‘Grassroots Football Festival Baby League 2024’ at Indira Gandhi Stadium, Kohima,

Altogether, 160 children joined the event under the categories of 4 years, 5-6 years, 7-9 years, and 10- 12 years.

Nagaland’s youth resources & sports director Kethosituo Sekhose said that the state government under the chief ministership of Neiphiu Rio has been trying to engage the people especially the youth from all age group in sport activities, adding that Grassroots Football Festival is one of such events.

The department has recently conducted state level catch them young tournament (U-14) in Sepaktakraw and State Level Pre- Subroto cum Junior Football Tournament 2024 for U- 15 Boys and U-17 Girls.

The response was immense, he said.

“I wish to see, one day they represent the nation, may be in World Cup, Asian Cup and even Olympics,” he said.

“We hope that Nagaland will become the sports power house one day and it is these children who can make the dream come true,” he said.

Sekhose requested all the parents to engage their children to take up atleast one sports discipline.

Vote of thanks was proposed by Khriehuto Tsira, senior state sports coach.

Thanksgiving prayer was pronounced by Khriehuzo Lohe, Advisor, Students Evangelical, IGS Kohima.

‘Robust foundation for Naga football’
State sports coach Tosovi Anthony Khariitso said that Grassroots Football Festival Baby League 2024 aims to establish a robust foundation for Naga football.

“This festival is a platform to introduce football to children as young as 4 and 5 years in a manner that both fun, enjoyment and educational,” he said.

Khariitso informed that the focus is an igniting interest in football among the participants through a series of engaging activities from basic ball handling skills to fun game and competitions, while also imparting essential skills such as a stamina, balance, team work, decision making and confidence.

“This kind of festival will nurture a new generation of talented players, build a strong foundation for the future of Naga football and also creating pathways for young talents to pursue their dreams and aspirations in sport,” he said.

The festival also emphasized on holistic skill development, nurturing well rounded individuals both on and off the field, he said.
By instilling values such as  sportsmanship, team work, fair play, the  event aims to equip young players with  the tools they need to  succeed not only in football but also in diverse fields,  Khariitso added.

4 Years Category
Gold: Iraghienge, Sedevilie, Ruopfükhrietuo and  Kikruneinuo
Silver:Vimethanuo Solo, Keviletuo Solo, Vikhotso Ltu  and Nothuswe Lcho

4 Years Category
Champion (Little Star): Vimedel, Andrew, Irangheinge  and Lendiden
Runner-Up (Babies Team): Vizhalhoutuo, Ruopfükhrietuo, Neiketousie and Keviletuo

5-6 Years Category
Gold: Andrew, Neiketousie, Lendipen and Vizhalhouto
Silver: Vimedel, Kekhriesetuo Kenneth Vitsu, Vimene Suohou and  Nozo Ltu

7-9 Yrs Category
Champion (Thailand FC): Lekehkong, Vivi Meyase, Kumkiu, Thejavor, Ketukielie, Hihito, Khriesavizo  and Shiuthong
Runner-Up (Portugal): Senaya Dzukum, Mahei, Tokibe Zhimo, Kekhrievituo Kiso, Kedileo Paphino, Kutsia S. Katiry, Xuwoto Chella and Neidi Khatso.

10-12 Years Category
Champion (Tiger FC):Isabella Medikhrü, Mbailak, Shachu, Peilungningteibo, Ropfüvilhou, Lamsuthong, Keneikhrielie and Petevikho.
Runner-Up (Real Madrid): Alexandra, Thejasevor, Neipedezo, Nlumsap, Apuka, Neizhanei and Akaho.