The Manipuri love for their Girls in Football !
Thocks Bikram, Puma and the Phanek ;-)

Sunny Narang *

AMMA FC (Andro) at Leadership Summit of Goals for Girls in Delhi 05 Jan, 2016
AMMA FC (Andro) at Leadership Summit of Goals for Girls in Delhi 05 Jan, 2016 :: Pic - Bikram Thockchom

Bikram is one of those proud Manipuri Dilliwallahs who despite having a full-time corporate job , has never stopped building football talent , in Delhi and home-state Manipur .

I call him the Dilli Yogi-Samurai of Football , especially Girls Football , due to his single-minded devotion and the unique combination of Yoga and physical training for his students , along with Football .

He is now supporting a village Football academy build a pro-amateur Girls football team in Manipur .

Football is the most popular game in Manipur, with 13 state-level clubs for men and five major league clubs for women. There are around 269 football clubs in the state.

If you look at the Indian National Women's Football Team , the majority of players are from Manipur , followed by Odisha . You could be forgiven for thinking its actually a Manipuri team !

The Manipur women’s football team has won the national football tournament 17 out of 20 times, and Oinam Bembem is its star player (as of 2014).

Oinam Bembem has captained the Indian women’s team thrice (2003, 2010 and 2012). While there are married footballers in Manipur’s women’s team, Bembem says marriage is not for her. “It will just get in the way of my dream,’’ .

Andro Mahila Mandal Association is the founder of AMMA FC . AMMA FC was established in 1993 and affiliated to All Manipur Football Association (AMFA).

The club has produced many national and international women/girl players over the years. The effort has been supported by over 100 dedicated members of AMMA FC.

The club has been providing opportunities to young girls of Andro to enjoy the “beautiful game and make friends across the globe”, said Bikram Singh Thockchorn, President of AMMA FC at a press conference in Imphal.

He said for AMMA FC to survive, there was a need to renew its approach and rethink on its activities. “The next step for AMMA FC is to transform from an NGO structure to one more robust private limited company at the organizational set up,” said Bikram.

The confidence and support of the Andro Village Committee has been visible. The committee has provided a dedicated club space and a playing field, he said. He exuded confidence that Andro will become the hub for the Indian Campaign to qualify for the FIFA 2027 Women’s World Cup.

Amma Football Club - probably the first exclusive girls / women football club in Manipur, introduced Manipur Ponies as one of the revenue earning source to fund the expenses of the club.

Andro's growing popularity as a tourist haven - provides much needed income opportunity to sustain AMMA FC . With the support of Tourism Manipur , Andro Village Committee and member players of AMMA FC collaborated with Mr.Sharjit of Langjing (Polo Club) to introduce the first ever - riding experience in Andro on the occasion of World Tourism Day.

Andro is a town and a Nagar Panchayat in Imphal East District in the state of Manipur, India.

In Manipur, the ancient Andro village is gradually becoming a favorite among tourists due to its scenic beauty and the glimpse it provides into the rich tribal traditions.

The scenic beauty, good climate and warm hospitality attract tourists to Andro village, which is a hotspot located 20 miles from Imphal in the foothills of Nongmaiching hill. The Santhei Natural Park that has been developed around a water reservoir is a popular picnic spot for locals and tourists alike.

Another major attraction here is the Mutua Cultural Heritage Complex that showcases major tribal traditions and their artifacts.

Model houses of various ethnic tribes, wood carvings, stone monuments and various traditional exhibits make it a must see place.

The Chakpa Panam Ningthou Meithoupirol Shanglen or Mei Mutaba is another interesting destination that attracts large number of visitors.

It is an age old traditional Hindu temple where the sacred fire lit 1,000 years ago has been preserved and maintained till now by the local community.

See a full photo gallery of the "Leadership Summit of Goals for Girls in Delhi" here

* Sunny Narang wrote this article ; He can be contacted at sunnyraas(aT)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on January 12, 2016.

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