Sikkim Himalayan SC secures 2-star accreditation for I-League

Gangtok, 12 Jun:

Sikkim Himalayan Sporting Club [SHSC] has secured two-star accreditation from All India Football Federation [AIFF] for the prestigious I-League U-13, U-15 and U-18 tournament.

It may be mentioned here, an AIFF official had visited Gangtok recently to inspect the club facilities for the academy certification.

On 06 Jun, following the inspection, the SHSC was notified about the accreditation through an email sent by AIFF stating that the club has secured a total of 175 points, thus receiving a two-star rating.

Expressing joy over the AIFF accreditation, SHSC founding president, Tenzing Lamtha, present club president, Zigmee Y Lepcha, and executive member, RK Pradhan, have informed that with this accreditation, SHSC can now participate in the I-League U-13, U-15 and U-18 categories organised by the AIFF.

Mr Lamtha mentioned that the club was formed in 2012 to promote local football talents of Sikkim while providing them a bigger platform in Indian football.

The SHSC won the State League B Division in 2013 and went on to become the champion of Sikkim Premier Division League in 2014. The club also played the prestigious I-League 2nd Division in 2015-16 and finished the league on the fourth position.

Mr Lamtha further added that while playing across the country, the club realized the importance of having an academy playing in youth leagues of AIFF to produce professional footballers from the State.

Stating that the I-League is the doorway for professional football, Mr Lamtha informed that it will be beneficial for the club to play in U-13, U-15 and U-18 leagues organized by the AIFF.

“Our kids are talented and we must focus on grooming them at the grassroot level,” said Mr Lamtha.

He also informed that the accreditation is for a period of one year and that they will be required to reapply for the same next year as well.

“The AIFF has given us suggestions on infrastructure and technical areas that need improvement and we must comply with it so that our accreditation is not cancelled next year,” he added.

It is to be informed here, SHSC is a residential academy with 50 young players between 05-18 years of age. With some staying at their respective residences and some as boarders in the academy’s hostel, these players train at Guards Ground in the morning and evening while attending school during the day.

Mr Lamtha also informed that the SHSC will be holding selection trials in the coming days for selection of best players for the U-13, U-15 and U-18 leagues.

He has appealed to the corporate sector of Sikkim to come forward as sponsors.

“We are worried about sustaining the academy for the coming junior leagues of the AIFF. This is a golden opportunity for the kids of Sikkim and we appeal to good samaritans to come forward and help the club by taking membership and paying monthly fees,” he expressed.

He has also urged the State Government to provide special aid as annual participation in junior leagues are very expensive with additional investment on providing training facilities and equipments for the players.