Mizoram government and Tata Trusts signed a MoU in order to nurture sports talent in the state by harnessing the rich wealth of talent and existing sports infrastructure. A state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence will be launched as part of this initiative.
The CoE shall offer world class training and development opportunities for young children from the region. Tata Trusts have joined forces with U Dream to draw from a pool of world-class trainers and coaches from India and Germany. The programme will create an integrated environment for development – focusing in equal measures on providing quality infrastructure, world class human capital and academics. The initiative will also offer opportunities for the students to compete against both national and international teams in similar age groups.
The signing ceremony was held during the grand finale of the Mizoram Premier League 2016. The event was graced by Chief minister of Mizoram Lal Thanhawla and acclaimed Indian footballer Jeje Lalpekhlua, who also belongs to Mizoram.
Speaking at the ceremony, Thanhawla said, “On behalf of the people of Mizoram, I would like to say how delighted we are to work with Tata Trusts in launching sports initiatives for the youth in our state. Our aim is to empower the young generation by promoting diversified means of livelihoods and creating development that makes a long-lasting difference. For this I wish to express our sincere gratitude to Tata Trusts for their efforts and contribution to the growth of the region”.
Over the next few months, the first Centre of Excellence will come up in Aizawl with the capacity to house 35-40 children in the age group of 11-13 years. In addition to intensive football training, the centre will give equal importance to academics with the end goal of making football a viable career option for the youth of Mizoram.
Commenting on this development, Burzis Taraporewala, secretary and chief financial officer, Tata Trusts stated, “It is a well-known fact that, in comparison to academics, sports often takes the backseat. With the overwhelming talent in this region, we hope that the right mix of academic and sports training will nurture children with potential and help them scale new heights in the field of football and other sports. This will not only make communities recognise sports as a means to diversified livelihoods, but understand its significance as a catalyst for sustainable development. Tata Trusts believes in layering various interventions. Capacity building of communities is essential for the success of these interventions and sport is an excellent medium for this.”
The programme aims to identify and nurture the innate talents of young children in Mizoram and the partnerships with the government and the Mizoram football association will help in consolidating the grassroots football programme of Tata Trusts.
The Centre of Excellence has been launched in association with the U Dream as the partner, who will develop training modules of global standard and scout for talent besides sourcing a credible football coach from overseas.
Besides, this Tata Trusts has been working towards the upliftment of marginalised communities in the Northeast through the North East Initiative Development Agency (NEIDA). The agency was set up in 2012 in Kohima. Also it works towards rural development in the Northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura.