GANGTOK, March 1, 2013
The Press Club of Sikkim downed a combined team of RUN, Mirikai Rehab and Serenity Home 7-2 in a friendly football match played here in Paljor Stadium on February 28.
Although the scoreline might suggest otherwise, the combined team of members from Recovering Users Network (RUN) and two rehabilitation centres for the chemically dependent put on a strong fight throughout the 90 minutes of the match.
While jersey number 7, Robin Rai and jersey number 9, Ajay Ghimeray scored for the rehab team, goals for PCS came from Khituk T Lepcha, Anand Oberoi, Lakpa Sherpa, Sameer Hang and Binod T.
The final outcome of the game was secondary to the main objective of the event which was to involve people in recovery from chemical dependence and alcoholism into playing sports.
This is not the first time that PCS has initiated such football matches and other sports with recovering users and those under treatment in rehabilitation centres. PCS has consistently collaborated with these organizations for initiatives like sports to help rehabilitation.
Deputy Director, Sports and Youth Affairs Department, Thupden Bhutia was invited as the chief guest. He assured that the Department would always support efforts to assist recovery through sports and underlined that many years could be lost to chemical dependence, but that did not mean that life could be reclaimed.
“Sporting activities provide a healthy mind and a healthy body, thus involving oneself in such extracurricular activities will definitely change ones attitude. An idle mind is a devil’s workshop so I encourage all of such individuals to come and avail of the sporting facilities that the state government has provided and change their perception about life,” he said.
Also present on the day as a team member was the Project Director, Mirikai Rehab, Aho and senior consultant, KC Nima, who, on behalf of the rehabs, conveyed, “Opportunities such as these will definitely have a great impact on the recovery of the individual. All the people playing today are basically footballers but instead of choosing the path to being successful sports persons, their decision turned them into something else; however the boys have started to react to things differently and even the loss today is being seen as something positive which is great news.”
While thanking the Press Club of Sikkim for their continuous support to the issue of addiction and alcoholism in the state, Nima added that such initiatives will definitely go a long way in bringing these people back into mainstream society.
The PCS team captain, Anand Oberoi thanked Denzong Boys FC for their support to make the match possible along with the Department of Sports & Youth Affairs for providing the pitch for the game for free and on such short notice.
~ Joseph Lepcha
Donggala, Sulawesi Tengah
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