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Handique opens 1st Dr. T. Ao trophy

(L-R) Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio flanked by Union minister for mines and DoNER BK Handique and his wife at the opening ceremony of 1st NE Dr. T. Ao Football Trophy, DDSC Stadium Dimapur on Monday.
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, NOV 2 (NPN):
Published on 3 Nov. 2009 12:39 AM IST
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An impressive and spectacular ceremony marked the opening of the first North East Dr.T.Ao Football Trophy here at the DDSC stadium Dimapur as thousands were treated to the sights and sounds that gripped the stadium Monday evening. Inaugurating the first Dr. T. Ao Football Trophy here at the DDSC Stadium Dimapur, Union minister for mines and DoNER B.K Handique described Dr. Talimeren Ao as a legend in the field of sports and an icon for all sportsmen of the nation. The minister who was chief guest at the function, said the event to honour Dr. T. Ao was a memorable occasion for all and also recalled contributions made in the field of sports by Dr. T. Ao, India’s first Olympic football captain. Handique said Dr. Talimeren Ao’s journey from an obscure school team player to become India’s first national football captain in the 1948 London Olympics served as an inspiration for the generation of players and sports enthusiasts in the region as well as the country. He also said the north east possessed rich and talented pool of sportsperson who have achieved laurels in different sports at the national and international levels. The DoNER Minister further said the government of India was doing everything to enhance the scope for the rich talents by developing the sporting infrastructures and facilities at all levels. Quoting Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, the chief guest said that the government at the Centre planned to create a new social order involving all stake holders, to launch a nationwide movement of youth in sports to unleash a new wave of sports consciousness and sports development. Lauding the efforts and vision of Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio of giving due respect to the one of the nation’s proud son, the Minister called for revival of sports in the NE region which has a pool of talents especially in sports and games. Paying glowing tributes to Dr.T.Ao, Handique daid the north east states have found a sports idol in Dr. Talimeren Ao which should inspire many young people from the region to come up, especially in the field of sports. Handique said as DoNER minister his priority would be to provide opportunities to the youths of the region in the field of sports, music and culture. Apart from the event, the DoNER minister also opined that all northeast states should get air connectivity. He also disclosed that the DoNER ministry in collaboration with the government of Nagaland is planning to promote and sponsor the forthcoming Hornbill festival in a big way to spread the message of love and peace through cultural exposure and extravaganzas. Chief Host for the tournament and Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio who delivered the welcome speech, lauded the chief guest B.K Handique union minister for mines and DoNER for taking the initiative to establish the historic event in the memory of late Dr. Talimeren Ao. He said that late. Dr. Talimeren Ao has set a standard of excellence and has promoted sportsmanship for generations to come. Lamenting that the nation has not given Dr. Talimeren due place of honour despite his unparalleled contribution to the nation’s sports, the chief minister said that Dr. Talimeren Ao Trophy has now been recognized by All India Football Federation. He said the tournament has been upgraded from inter district level in the state to the regional level. The chief minister expressed the hope that the nation would give due respect to Dr. Talimeren Ao’s contribution in the field of sports. Highlights of the opening ceremony included- Naga dance from various tribes from Nagaland, choral presentation by Union Baptist Church Kohima drill display and slide shows on the biography of Dr. Talimeren. An elder from Changki village also spoke on the occasion on behalf of Dr. Talimeren Ao, a native of Changki village under Mokokchung district. Later four grand sons of Dr. Talimeren Ao presented the running trophy.

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