Friendship over football

GREAT KICK

Any sport is a great way to initiate friendship. This has been proved by the Manipuris and Bangaloreans, who have formed the ‘Bangalore Manipuri Friendship Football Club’ (BMFFC) to enrich their relation with each other.

Team Spirit : Members of ‘Bangalore Manipuri Friendship Football Club’ .

Around two years back, a few Manipuris and Bangaloreans used to meet each other over the weekends. They then decided to join hands to form the BMFFC.

The club was formed on June 2011 with the sole aim to enhance the friendship
between Bangaloreans and Manipuris.

Roshan Tekcham, one of the founder members of the club says, “There are people from Meghalaya, Kerala and Manipur in our group and we realised there’s something common between us. So there was a need to establish a platform, a space, in this big city for ourselves. And we thought football was the right thing for us.”

The BMFFC had less than 20 members in the beginning but now it has expanded to as much as 50. From students to professionals, BMFFC welcomes everyone. Vijay SP, who works as a senior analyst, says, “We all belong to the same company and stay in the same locality in Bangalore.

A bunch of Manipuris always used to play football and one fine day, I decided to join them. Then I realised how energetic the game is and got addicted to it.” Another founder and club member, Meiraba Pebam, says, “We have our regular spot to play and welcome others to join in. Kids around see us and begin playing with us. Sometimes they also bring their friends along. Most of the time, at least 20 children insist on playing with us.”

All the club members unanimously agree that they have been successful in widening their friends’ circle. Sonamani, who works with Jet Airways, says, “Earlier, on most weekends, when I had my off, I hardly use to go out and mingle with others. Before joining the club, I knew very few people but now, everybody is my friend.”

Also the BMFFC members say that playing football has improved their health. Vijay says that he doesn’t feel the need to hit the gym as playing football keeps him healthy. Pebam says that there is a sense of belonging in the club. “We are less in number and have been alone. Now we know there is someone who will look after us.”

And their commitment towards the game is the what the BMFFC can boast about. Pebam says, “What I like about the game is the fun of playing it.

All of us are committed to football. We make sure to inform the members about the matches and call them to play. When it comes to football, everybody leaves their work aside and comes to play.” The club has also won a number of tournaments.

Apart from playing the sport, the BMFFC members also socialise and go for outings. They celebrate Manipuri festivals with zest and are also planning a trip to Coorg soon.

Summing up the motto of the club, Tekcham says, “It’s the game of love. We are
trying to find a home far away from home.”

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