Conrad Sangma launches second season of Meghalaya Baby League

SHILLONG, Aug 2: Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma on Friday launched the Meghalaya Baby League 2019.

Congratulating the Meghalaya Football Association (MFA) for taking the initiative in organizing the Meghalaya Baby League, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, said that it is important to instill in the children the reflexes and skill that is required at the right age so that it becomes a natural response and the Meghalaya Baby League is a perfect way to ensure that the children have the right exposure and the necessary guidance that will bring out the best in them to become potential football stars in the future.

“This baby league will not only help them in bringing out their talents and potential in the game but will give them important values of sportsmanship, team work, discipline and that life is about winning and also losing,” said the Chief Minister.

Conrad added that the Baby League is much more than just football and will bring about a holistic development of a child.

He also urged the parents to give all the necessary support to their children and said that Sports should not be seen as a distraction from studies by the parents but to actively participate in the interests of their children.

Earlier, the Chief Minister unveiled the Baby League Trophy and also launched the Meghalaya Football association website.

Meanwhile, President Meghalaya Football Association, Larsing M Sawyan said that earlier the development of a football eco-system in the country was mostly concentrated on youth development.

“However, from 2012 onwards the concept of grass root development was introduced in India although rather late,” Sawyan said.

According to the MFA president, the age group of 4-12 years is most critical and fundamental to interact with the children and develop the interest for sports in them.

He informed that in 2017, the AIFF came up with the concept of developing grass root football through the Baby League and Meghalaya was the front runner in this regard.

“The Meghalaya Baby League has created a sporting culture with even parents being involved in the game,” Sawyan said.

The league will be expanded to 54 teams across six districts and eight locations from a 12-team league held in the inaugural year. The number of teams in the Shillong leg of the league will be expanded to 24 and will be held in three different locations in and around the state capital, while the league will also be held in five other districts around the state, namely West Jaintia Hills, East Jaintia Hills, Ri-Bhoi, West Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills.

The target for 2019 will be to have around 5,000 children taking part across Meghalaya in the flagship grassroots football event, making it India’s largest Baby League by far. There will be around 1,000 matches in the Greater Shillong area, with roughly 750 matches in the other districts. The final round of the MBL will be held in Shillong towards the end of the year.

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