Scottish school in Kalimpong and the Beautiful Game of Soccer

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Saurabh Rai

Football has always occupied a special place in Scottish Universities’ Mission Institution (SUMI), a missionary school based in Kalimpong. It has a rich history with regards to the beautiful game having produced hundreds of talented footballers in its 125 years of existence. Many of whom have gone and played for the well known clubs of the country. Notable amongst them is Pem Dorjee, a wonderful stopper who played for almost all the big clubs and even captained the National team.

In keeping with the rich tradition of football in SUMI, this year the team has made a bright start to the season having won the North-Bengal region inter-school tournament a few weeks back, hence qualifying for the B.C. Roy Memorial Challenge Cup to be held in Kolkata from today. If they win this tournament SUMI will get the honor of representing Bengal in the Subroto Cup which is the National level inter school football tournament.

The team trained for four days at the Mela ground in Kalimpong before leaving for Kolkata on the 22nd of July. The Boys were made to play the practice games in the mid-day heat with their sweat shirts on. The coach Ganesh Dahal later explained that this was being done as they are expecting a very hot and humid Kolkata during this part of the month. It might be mentioned here that the team is slated to play their first match on the 24th of July.

Kalimpong , Scottish Universities’ Mission Institution, SUMI, Soccer 1

Scottish Universities’ Mission Institution, SUMI's soccer boys (Photo Courtesy: Praveen Chettri)

The coach further said that he is confident of a good performance from the boys but was honest to add that the weather in Kolkata can be a hindrance in their mission to win the tournament. If we look at SUMI’s recent record in the BC Roy Memorial Challenge Cup, the team can be called one of the favorites as they finished Runner up in 2009. Last year they finished fourth and were the champions in 2008.

So in its 125th year, Scottish Universities’ Mission Institution’s football team has set out to conquer Bengal and make this year even more special for the school. This bunch of boys seemed to be very hardworking and dedicated towards the game. Practicing and playing for the last two months with an aim to continue the glorious tradition of the school’s football history. Many of these boys might not be aware of what their school has achieved with regards to football in the past but they know that they study in a football crazy school where every match day when the school team play is a holiday. So these boys have a chance to bring Glory not only to their school but to the whole of Darjeeling hills and as their school song says “When SUMI Boys go marching on” if everything falls in to place they might just march on straight to the trophy and lift it. Go Boys it’s all yours.

Saurabh Rai is based in Kolkata. He did his schooling from Tashi Namgyal Academy, Gangtok

To read more articles by Saurabh Rai click on the link below:

Tenzing Tsephel: An Exciting Talent
In-waiting Bhaichung: Ong Tshering Lepcha- Coming back to form
Denzong Boys FC- From the Valley of Rice
Three Star Club lifts the Aaha Gold Cup

*Disclaimer: The above article is a reproduction of the same article published on Saurabh’s blog



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