Shillong, Sep 15: The Tura centre of the Meghalaya Baby League 2019 held its first matches yesterday with children and family embracing the occasion.

The teams taking part are the Bosco Hornbills, Chipakkore FC Dolphins, Sherwood School Tigers, Modynagar SCC Wolves, BBFS-WI Dragons and Ka’grak Dobasipara Leopards. The matches were held at the Don Bosco Higher Secondary School Playground.

Tura thus becomes the latest centre to open after Smit, Mawphlang and Shillong in the expanded MBL 2019.

“My thanks to children, parents and grandparents for coming out today. I am a grandfather here and I am so happy to see young children taking part. A strong foundation is very important, be it in education or sport. This is the right age to start to see the talent in your children,” former MLA and Co-Chairman of the Meghalaya State Planning Board Billykid A Sangma said in his speech while also lauding the efforts of the organisers.

Meanwhile, Jasper P Marak, Sports & Youth Affairs Assistant Director, described the occasion as an “historic day for Garo Hills”.

“This is going to be an extension of the classroom for parents and students. Teachers can see the behaviour of the students in the classroom. But here, with this platform, everyone can be part of the classroom. I would like to appeal to everyone to actively participate in this kind of tournament,” he said.

Finally, Meghalaya Football Association Vice-President Gino A Sangma thanked Don Bosco HSS for providing the ground for the Baby League. He also encouraged the players to give their best, as the top teams in each age category will take part in the state-level culmination of the league in Shillong at the end of the year.

“The All India Football Federation has been very kind and very encouraging in developing football in the country. And, especially in Meghalaya, we have witnessed many successful events in youth development programmes and my thanks also goes to Tata Trusts in being our main sponsor for the Meghalaya Baby League,” he added.

(Photos contributed by the Meghalaya Football Association)

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