Benaulim MLA, Mr Caitano R Silva on Tuesday officially inaugurated the Goa Football Development Council’s fifth Football Development Centre at Vaddi, Benaulim.
GFDC chairman, Dr Rufino Monteiro and member secretary Mr Elvis Gomes were among others who were present.
Speaking as the chief guest on the occasion, Mr Silva said that that the ground was given to a private party which he said was against the wishes of the people adding further that he worked very hard to get this ground back to the Benaulim villagers and today is the day which is a very happy day when this ground officially belongs to the villagers.
“This ground will now be developed with the best of the facilities,” Mr Silva asserted, profusely thanking the Chief Minister Mr Manohar Parrikar, SAG ED Mr Elvis Gomes and chairman of the GFDC Dr Rufino Monteiro for their efforts in working towards making Benaulim a football development centre.
Stating that the Vaddi ground will be a practice ground for the upcoming Lusofonia Games, the Benaulim MLA said that he is also very thankful to the Benaulim panchayat body and the villagers for standing by him and said that now the youth of the village will have the opportunity to utilise this ground for sports and football in particular. “Many I am sure will be keen to participate in sports,” Mr Silva said.
Mr Silva appealed to the parents of the village to see that their children practice on this ground as the facility is now at their door step and hoped that with good practice and discipline, the village youth will make it big in sports. He said that football being the main sport and the state’s official sport, he expects good response from the village youth to take advantage of the ground and rise up as great footballers not only of the state by also that of the nation as has been done by a young footballer like Brandon Fernandes.
Dr Rufino said that sports today has become a huge industry and advised the youngsters of the village to come forward to practice at this ground and make it big in football. He said that if one is good at sports, the sportspersons like footballers are approached with offers of jobs and high salaries.
He urged the parents to send their children for practice at this ground and advised the youngsters that they should work hard to climb higher so that there is demand for them to move even outside the state instead of players from outside coming here and earning big money.
Member secretary of GFDC Mr Elvis Gomes described the day as a historic day, adding further that he hoped that this centre would help in churning out good footballers and sports persons.
He also said that that with the inauguration of this centre a way has been paved for starting football camps, which will surely help sports. He also said that there would be upgradation of coaches, besides providing various sports kits like balls, nets.
Parish priest of Holy Trinity church Fr Anthony Vaz who was the guest of honour also spoke on the occasion.
Among other dignitaries present on the dais were headmistress Sr Elizabeth Coelho of Auxilium High School, Benaulim, sarpanch of Benaulim Ms Royla Fernandes, President of Ave Maria A & W Club Mr Antonio Mascarenhas, Mr Stanlislaus D’Souza and others.
Later an U-14 friendly football match was played, besides a dance performance by Tiny Tots of Benaulim. [H]