Government of Mizoram and Tata Trusts join hands to promote sports; announce the opening of the flagship Centre of Excellence
Aizwal, December 16th, 2016: The Government of Mizoram and Tata Trusts signed an MoU 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 Indian 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 the presence of the honourable Chief Minister of Mizoram Shri Lal Thanhawla and acclaimed Indian footballer Jeje Lalpekhlua, who also belongs to Mizoram. Speaking at the ceremony, Shri 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, Mr. Burzis Taraporewala, Secretary and Chief Financial Officer, Tata Trusts said, “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 Centre of Excellence also provides full scholarships to 35 promising children who will be sent to Germany for training. This scholarship will cover their entire cost of training, lodging and boarding for the entire duration of the programme. 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. The relationship draws upon U Dream’s network of partnerships in Europe – the Bundesliga and the Hoffenheim team in Germany.
Tata Trusts has been working towards the upliftment of marginalised communities in the Northeast through the North East Initiative Development Agency (NEIDA) which was set up in 2012 in Kohima, Nagaland as the nodal agency for Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust’s Northeast Initiative (NEI). It works towards rural development in the North-eastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. NEIDA’s efforts are centered on enhancing rural livelihoods through improved agriculture and horticulture practices, promotion of livestock activities, providing access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, sustainable use of natural resources and dissemination of knowledge and expertise.
The Tata Group has a long association with sports in India, going back to the Paris Olympics in 1924. In addition to football, the Trusts also spearheaded the Tata Hockey Academy in Jamshedpur, in partnership with Bovelander and Bovelander B V (founded by the Dutch Olympian) and One Million Hockey Legs, Netherlands. The Tata Football Academy, established at Jamshedpur has trained more than 200 cadets out of which 134 have played for India and 19 have captained the Indian team in the past 30 years. Through this intervention, Tata Trusts are aiming for Indian footballers to gain recognition not only at home, but also at a global level.
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