The Subroto Cup, India’s oldest and the most prestigious inter school football tournament is back in the capital. The 53rd edition of the highly anticipated tournament was kicked off yesterday by Air Marshall J.N. Burma at Dr. B.R. Ambedkar stadium, amidst growing fervor and excitement. The first match was contested between Greenwood School, Dimapur and Bhonsala Military School, Nashik.
The tournament is organized by the Subroto Mukerjee Sports Education Society and is also supported by the Ministry of Sports and Youth affairs, the Delhi Government and various corporate houses. Yamaha’s association with the tournament is in sync with its corporate culture which has always pledged alliance in promoting and popularizing a range of sports especially amongst the youth.
Yamaha had recently organized the second edition of the Yamaha ASEAN Cup U-13 Football in association with The Indian Football Association (West Bengal) wherein the Indian players got a chance to play internationally.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Roy Kurian, National Business Head, India Yamaha Motor, said, “Being a promoter of football through our ASEAN cup tournaments, our association with Subroto cup was much called for. It is due to our strong interest in this sport that mirrors the company’s basic DNA, our values and corporate culture as well as our commitment towards the overall mental and physical development of the youth that we decided on sealing this association. In addition to the Yamaha brand being further exposed to the young budding players of India, the Subroto Cup also gives the company an opportunity to support many talented children participating in the tournament who could go on to become great sporting legends in the future. We wish all participants the very best in their endeavors and hope they do the country proud.”
The company will be giving away 4 Yamaha Ray gearless scooters as prizes to the most promising and best players in the Under-17 category.
The tournament which began in the year 1960 was the brainchild of (late) Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee. Air Marshal Mukerjee was a keen soccer enthusiast whilst he was the Chief of the Air Staff. According to him, football needed to be encouraged at the grass root level in order to realize the growth of the game in the country. His concept first took shape when Subroto Mukerjee Sports Education Society was formed in 1960 after his untimely demise in Tokyo. The first tournament of the prestigious cup was also played the same year. At the time of the inauguration of the tournament, the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, while offering condolence to this great visionary suggested that the tournament be named after the late Air Marshal.
This year, for the first time, there will be a nationwide inter-school girls’ competition where 17 school teams from all across the country will participate. Joining these girls, will be an all girls team from Afghanistan. In addition to teams from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and other South Asian countries, two teams from Europe- FC Dynamo Kiev from Ukraine and Cardinal Heenan College from UK will compete for the cup in the under 17 category. The 78 participating teams will play 125 matches over a period of next two months.