Sikkim sets focus on womena

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:53 IST

Sikkim has the distinction of producing India's top male footballer Baichung Bhutia - now they are hoping to add women to the list.

Sikkim sets focus on womena
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Gangktok:

Sikkim has the distinction of producing India's top male footballer Baichung Bhutia - now they are hoping to add women to the list. The state has launched a new initiative to promote women's football. Judging by the response at the enrolment, there seems to be a bright future for the idea. The trainees may not have heard of Mia Hamm, the world's all-time leading scorer in women's football, but they certainly know Bhutia. He is the prime inspiration behind the girls taking to football. The Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs in the state has been scouting for talent in remote schools and villages and training aspirants in the state. National champion Another northeastern state, Manipur, which dominates women's football, is the current national champion. "Many girls in my village play football," said a football lover. "My father was a footballer too. Though he was not very famous or successful, he would encourage me". Their trainer Solomon Lepcha, the chief coach for the state team said, the logistical set-up needs changes for the scheme to succeed. "The real difficulty is to be able to assemble the whole lot of them at one site and provide them with academic, diet and sports training," he said. Bhutia who agrees with him, has often spoken of the lack of basic facilities. The girls make up for it with enthusiasm and spirit and there is hope the state will back their effort.

Topics : Football
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