S Keoshu Yimkhiung and others at the 23rd NSF Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy 2023 inaugural ceremony held on September 18. (Morung Photo)
Kohima | September 18
The 23rd NSF Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy 2023 under the aegis of Angami Students’ Union (ASU) made a colourful start here today at Indira Gandhi Stadium under the theme ‘Goal for Peace.’
Gracing the inaugural ceremony this afternoon, S Keoshu Yimkhiung, Advisor, Youth Resources & Sports, thanked the ASU and organising committee for remembering the martyrs for their supreme sacrifice for the rightful cause of Naga as a whole. The Advisor encouraged the youth to give more importance to games and sports. Sports are a powerful medium that can unite communities and foster the value of discipline and teammate, he said.
Naga are good in football, but the only factor is that we are not utilizing our talents and also there is lack of consistency and dedication, he said.
In comparison of today’s competitive world our state is having a deficit in the field of sports, yet the government of the today, under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, the sports infrastructure is looming up in all corner of the state, the advisor said.
Keoshu said, “It is not just a football tournament or a competition but it is an event to bring all Nagas from near and far, to promote peace and unity through sports and to feel the oneness of all.”
He said that competition is not all about being in the field to win only, but also try to win the hearts of other through discipline and love for profession.
“Let your participation here may be a blessing to your fellow friends through your good conduct and discipline, Keoshu said. Always work hard, never give up and fight until the end because it is never over until the whistle blows, he added.
‘Football has ability to bring people together’
Sharing greetings, Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) President, Medovi Rhi said that 20th March, 1986 etched the fateful day, where thousands of students came together, united by a common cause to protest against the extension of the Disturbed Areas Act (DAA) and the introduction of the Indian Police Service Cadre in Nagaland. That day marked a turning point in the history of the Naga people, as courageous students stood alongside Lt Kekuojalie Sachii and Lt Vikhozo Yhoshu, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to justice and gross discrimination.
“Today, we come together to celebrate not only the 23rd edition of NSF Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy but also honour the reminder of the price that has been paid off by the two brave souls Lt Kekuojalie Sachu of Kohima Village and Lt Vikhozo Yhoshii of Kigwema Village, who sacrificed their lives for a just cause. Their legacy lives on in the enduring spirit of this tournament, which symbolizes not just a football tournament but a profound commitment to ‘peace and unity,’ a spirit that refuses to bow down in the face of adversity.” Rhi said.
He said that the tournament is a testament to the Naga spirit- a spirit that remains unbroken, spirit that transcends divisions, and a spirit that seek to build a better future.
The NSF president said that Football, as a sport, has the unique ability to bring people together from all walks of life.
“It teaches the value of team work, discipline and perseverance with no prejudices and discrimination. NSF Martyrs trophy has continued the most iconic sports event in Northeast. It reminds us that we are one, same team and a human team,” he said.
The Angami Students’ Union with each year passing has continued to carry the torch of remembrance of our two brave souls, he said.
He called upon the participants to play with the spirit of true sportsmanship, embracing the principles of fairness and respect.
“As we kick off the 23rd NSF Martyrs’ Memorial Trophy, may this continue to be a beacon of hope, a success not just in terms of goal scored but in the bonds we create, the friendship we forge and the message of unity and peace that we send to the world,” he added.
‘Let us inculcate the nature of peace’
ASU President, Khriesamhalie David Mere said “This Trophy is organized in loving memory and honour of two brothers Late Kekuojalie Sachii of Kohima village and Late Vikhozo Yhoshii of Kigwema village who have sacrificed their precious lives to give us a brighter future.”
Talking on motto “Goal for Peace,” he said “Let us inculcate the nature of peace within ourselves first and accordingly promote peace in the society and walk a step closer to a better society.”
Through this trophy, let us also promote our players, encourage the youths and inculcate a sense of unity in the young minds, he said.
“This year, we are celebrating the 23rd Edition with 34 participating teams from within and outside the state, said Organizing Committee Convenor, Mhasimhalie Mathew Yhome. He said that the cash prize has been enhanced to Rs 7 lakh. Yhome urged the participating teams and players to exhibit their talents in the true spirit of sportsmanship and ensure “we become more united through this tournament. “
Metebo-o Sote, Secretary Games & Sports, ASU administered oath to the participating teams.
The inaugural ceremony was chaired by organising committee co-convenor Khriezelhou Vitso. Neilaii Thaprii and Zekuosa Zhale presented tribute song. Neidilhoutuo Sechii and Medolenuo comperered the opening ceremony.
New Market FC wins inaugural match
Defending champion New Market FC downed 14 FC 9-0 in the inaugural match. Rhitsho Mero netted five goals for the winning team New Market. Petevizo, Bapenyimjong, Khiuwangbo and Chinyo M netted a goal each.
The tournament will continue till October 14.
September 19 matches
1st Match: 11:30 am
Mima FC vs Youngsters
2nd Match: 1:30 pm
Asufii Football Academy vs Samaritan FC