New Delhi: The 53rd Subroto Cup football tournament kicked off on Monday with a grand opening ceremony that was graced by Air Marshal JN Burma and London Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt.
Addressing the gathering of school children from across the country, Dutt emphasised the need for right training at young age for proper development of the sport. “It is very heartening to see these children get exposure at a very young age. I started wrestling at the age of 8 and at that point there were no facilities and guidance,” said the Khel Ratna awardee.
“If with proper guidance and efforts we can bring in medals from Olympics, it is absolutely possible for footballers to realise their dreams too. And seeing the way sponsors are supporting the efforts of the Indian Air Force, I am very confident that we can make it big in football too,” said Dutt, who likes to play in the midfield.
The Olympic medallist not only impressed upon the children the importance of being passionate about the game, but himself sat through the opening encounter in the U-14 category between Greenwood School, Dimapur and Bhonsala Military School, Nashik and enjoyed the proceedings.
Over 80 teams from across the country and abroad would be participating in this month long tournament which will see competition in three categories – Boys u-14, Boys u-17 and Girls-u-17. A total of Rs 1.5 crore have been raised from the sponsors and the total cash prize purse has gone up to Rs 28,30,000 this year.
Air Marshal Burma explained the efforts put by the Indian Air Force behind the successful conduct of the tournament and said the talent on offer was the biggest motivator for them.
“The players were present at the Nehru Cup final and that was a huge experience for them. And as you can see we at Indian Air Force have taken complete onus of Subroto Cup and we are committed to train and give right diet and create footballers for future for India.
“Several players are been picked up by AIFF and some have caught the eyes of clubs abroad. We have lot of plans to develop grass-root football in the coming days,” he added.
Greenwood School, Dimapur (Nagaland) 8 (Osen 5, 40, 44; Lelen 25, 30; Nyithung 36, 41; Kiyeka 51) bt Bhonsala Military School, Nashik (Maharashtra) 0
At Ambedkar Stadium
7 AM: New Sunrise Senior Secondary School, Fatehabad (Haryana) vs orth Eastern English School, Khabeisoi (Manipur)
8.30 AM: Don Bosco High School, Panaji (Goa) vs GBSS School, New Delhi
4.30 PM: Air Force School, New Delhi vs Pillo Mody High School, Panchmahal (Gujarat)
At New Wellington Camp
8.30 AM Air Force Bal Bharati School, New Delhi vs Tyndale School, Srinagar