Monday, December 1, 2014

V for Veterans


Sikkim Veterans Football Tournament 2014 was an ambitious undertaking when it was mooted, but the organisers were treated to an overwhelming response and 23 teams signed up for the tourney within days of Dzongri Club having announced the tournament. So much so that entries were closed ahead of schedule. And now, the fans too are taking to the tournament and turning up in handsome numbers to cheer favourites from yesteryears and reliving football rivalries from the past.
An appreciable number of spectators are turning up on a regular basis at Paljor Stadium for the tournament which has teams of football veterans from across the State and the neighbouring regions. The spectators, across the board, have welcomed the opportunity to witness once more the game of former football stars of the region.
The veterans too have expressed gratitude towards the organisers for creating a platform for them to play again at competition level and for having provided a stronger reason for them to stay fit and healthy. 
62-year-old Arun Kumar Rai of Namthang Veterans is all praises for the tournament and wants it to be organised regularly. He believes that such tournaments would encourage older players to stay fit and that the veterans’ football format will further inspire more youngsters to take up sports to stay fit and healthy.
Likewise, 53-year-old DB Gautam of Dzongri Club also appreciated the initiative. What excites him as much as the chance to play competitive football again, is the opportunity created to catch up again with players from his time.

The first edition of Sikkim Veterans’ Football Tournament 2014 in the memory of late Pintso Lepcha, late Nim Tshering Bhutia and late Gyaltsen Lepcha kicked off at Paljor Stadium on 23 November. The inaugural day of the tournament has the former STCS MD, SG Pulger as the chief guest. A total of 23 teams from Sikkim and neighbouring hills are participating in two-week long tournament.

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