Rousing reception for Sikkim women’s football team

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2022 08:45 [IST]

Last Update: Tuesday, Jul 26, 2022 03:04 [IST]

Rousing reception for Sikkim women’s football team


GANGTOK,: The Sikkim women’s football team ‘Sikkim Pandas’ returned home on Monday to a rousing reception at Rangpo and a memorable felicitation at Gangtok following their excellent performance in the 1st North East Women’s Football League. They went undefeated in the league round and went down fighting against title favourites Manipur in the final on July 23 at Imphal to bag the runners-up trophy.

After the warm welcome at Rangpo by the Sikkim Football Association (SFA) women’s wing, the Sikkim players and officials were felicitated at Gangtok in the programme attended by SFA officials, guests and former SFA president P.K. Pradhan.

Pradhan, motivating the players, said: “Our objective should not just be limited to the North East only. We should aim to play for the national team and big football clubs”. He recalled the tournaments conducted by the SFA in past years during which India’s top football clubs used to participate in the Governor’s Gold Cup at Paljor Stadium.

The former SFA president expressed his concern over the future of sportspersons in the State. He suggested the Sports department to write a proposal to the State government stating to utilise Paljor Stadium for sports activities only.

SFA president Menla Ethenpa congratulated the Sikkim team and urged them to keep up the winning spirit and bring more laurels for the State. Looking at their performances I am confident many will reserve their place in the Indian football team, he said.

SFA working president Chung Chung Bhutia applauded the team’s grit that made them bring laurels to the State and for proving themselves. It is a laudable effort and Sikkim is proud to have such good women football players, she said.

Sikkim team manager Pushpa Gurung shared that the North East Women’s Football League proved to be an exemplary experience for the Sikkimese players as they got to play against the sister States who are excelling in football.  “I am proud of my girls and their outstanding performance. We are confident to perform better in future”, she added.

Coach Alpan Lepcha shared this tournament to be a great achievement for the State team. He spoke about the tournament’s experience adding that in the final, the Sikkim team had to face technical pressure as the team captain was ineligible to play due to two cautioning cards she had received in the previous matches. The spirit and combination of senior and young players was amazing throughout the tournament, he added.

Sharing her experience, team captain Sujana Rai expressed that it was due to the hard work of the entire team that they could bag the trophy. “The tournament was a good exposure for us, especially the young players in our team. The only disappointment for me personally was not getting to play the finals which somewhere demoralised the team. However, they gave their best and are here with the result”, she added.

Rai further thanked Chief Minister P.S. Golay for supporting and being a strong pillar for the women's team. She also thanked the SFA, her coaches and the well-wishers for their support.

The 15-member State team had undergone rigorous training in different parts of the State before the Imphal tournament.




Sujana Rai (captain), Lako Phuti Bhutia, Gyurmee Tamang, Nimita Gurung, Dichen Lepcha, Signorina Thapa, Muskan Subba, Kalpana Mangar, Kusum Chettri, Priyanka Mangar, Shreya Thapa, Laxmi Tamang.


Coach: Alpan Lepcha

Manager: Pushpa Gurung

Physiotherapist: Dr. Rinzi Lhamu Bhutia

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi