Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Dalai Lama gives pep talk to budding Tibetan footballers

The Dalai Lama on Tuesday met with the teams taking part in 28th edition of Gyalyum Chemo Memorial Gold Cup football tournament and asked them to feel proud for being Tibetan.

Sixteen Tibetan football squads are set to compete, including teams from Europe, Australia and Nepal, in the tournament, which is dedicated to the memory of the Dalai Lama’s late mother. It will be played at the Upper TCV School ground here till June 11.

The Dalai Lama told a young footballer from Australia to live a happy life, adding that as a Tibetan, “we must take pride in our rich Tibetan culture”.

A young player with moist eyes caught the attention of the Dalai Lama.

“Be happy and live a purposeful life. As a Tibetan, you should take pride in the rich Tibetan religion and cultural heritage,” the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama was joyous to receive a jersey of the Australian team with his name and No. 14 printed on the back (implying the 14th Dalai Lama) as a souvenir from Team Australia participating in the tournament.

Later, he wore the Gyalyum Chenmo Memorial Gold Cup medal presented to him as a souvenir by the tournament’s organiser, Tibetan National Sports Association (TNSA).

The tournament is a perennial football meet involving the Tibetan diasporic community. It is being organised since 1981 for the Tibetans-in-exile to protect their identity and culture.

McLeodganj, on the outskirts of Dharamsala, is the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Around 140,000 Tibetans live in exile, of whom over 100,000 live in different parts of India.

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