SK Sunn inspects SSA ground

By Monojit Mandal

SHILLONG: The Members of the Shillong Sport Association led by its president SK Sunn on Tuesday made an inspection of the ongoing improvement works of the ground 1 of the Association.
Talking to The Shillong Times, Sunn informed that SSA in its effort to promote sports in the state capital in particular and the state in general, is facing an uphill task and many challenges in terms of infrastructure & finance.
Sunn mentioned that SSA is regularly conducting the Shillong Premier League Football Tournament in the category of Super Division, First Division, Second Division, Third Division, and Fourth Division besides age group football tournaments for 18 Yrs, 15Yrs, 14Yrs, 12 Years Age. More than 3000 players are registered with the association every year.
For conducting Matches for these five divisions, SSA have to approach the Meghalaya Football Association for permission to utilize the third ground (Artificial Turf), at a cost, Department of Sports & Youth Affairs for permission to utilize the JN Stadium and the Shillong Recreation Ground Trust for permission to utilize the second ground to complete the different tournaments conducted by SSA regularly every year. In term of finance, Shillong Sports Association has practically no source to generate revenue.
The only source of revenue is from Entry Fees, Registration Fees and Gate Collections. Worst of all, the only source of revenue i.e., financial assistance from the state government, have also stopped since the last Five Years.
However, despite the fact that having no source of revenue, SSA has to incure expenditure in various activities. Further, Department of Sports is currently charging SSA a whopping amount of Rs 6,600 per match for conducting football matches in JN Stadium.
Shillong Sports Association is the only association in the state where three of its affiliated clubs at one point of time played in the I-League of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), i.e, Shillong Lajong FC, Rangdajied United FC (formally Ar-Hima Sprots Club) and Royal Wahingdoh FC.
During these 103 years of its journey, the Association has produced Eight football players who represented the country and were part of the Indian national football team and they are T. Lotha, Rokos Lamare, Weiladmi Passah, Marlangki Suting, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Aibor Khongjee, Jackychand Singh, Seityasen Singh including Fullmoon Pyrtuh who was included in national school team to represent the country.
The Association has also produced more than 20 players currently playing in the Indian Super League. Sunn stated that he has written a letter to the minister, Department of Sports & Youth Affairs on August 1, 2019 wherein he has made a request for the Government to adopt measures to extend all possible assistance to the associations as, to provide necessary assistance to SSA for improvement of sports infrastructure.
To make JN Sports Complex available to SSA for conducting tournaments free of cost; Higher financial assistance to SSA for conducting all sports activities besides football effective from 2019-20 season, and allocation of one JNS Grass Root Center to SSA.
However, he informed that he is yet to receive a response on the matter from the Sports Department of Sports & Youth Affairs.

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