Shillong, Mar 10: The Meghalaya men’s football team were given a parade through the city today to celebrate their achievement of finishing second in the recent National Football Championship for the Santosh Trophy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Meghalaya had gone down 3-2 in the final to Karnataka on March 4 but this marked the high point of the state’s participation in the prestigious national tournament.

The roadshow was organised by the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs from Mawlai Madan Heh to Fire Brigade Ground in Laitumkhrah and the players were accompanied by dancers and bikers along the route.

At Fire Brigade, the players were entertained with musical performances. Speeches were made by new Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Shakliar Warjri and Meghalaya Football Association President Larsing Ming Sawyan.

The players were also presented with cheques according to the state government’s incentive scheme for successful athletes.

“Going forward, I hope all the athletes of Meghalaya take heart from the success of the Meghalaya football team and know that success is never far from their reach,” Warjri said. “These players are role models and that must give you the motivation to continue training hard and know that the government will do all it can to support you towards reaching excellence. It is a key ambition of the Meghalaya government to make sure that we evolve as a sporting hub and nurture the abundant talent in the state. Be it at the national or international levels, our aspiration is to help promising athletes of Meghalaya reach their highest potential.”

The players received Rs 20,000 each and the officials smaller amounts.

(TSR photo)

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