AMAGWE village has found an unconventional outlet for their Martyrs’ Day zeal this year – the football pitch. Pandan village, in Ngape township, is hosting a friendly football competition to finance a new Bogyoke Aung San statue for the township.
Organising committee chair and Padan village administrator U Kyaw Shwe said the village was hoping to collect as much as K13 million to fund the construction of a bronze statue of the independence leader.
The committee has charged each team a K40,000 entrance fee, which will also go toward funding prizes for the winners. The competition kicked off on July 19, which marked the 69th anniversary of Martyrs’ Day, when eight independence leaders, including Bogyoke Aung San, were assassinated in the Secretariat complex in Yangon.
“Football games are suitable for the monsoon season, so we decided to hold a football competition as a fundraising event for Bogyoke’s statue,” said organising committee secretary U Hla Myo Naing.
“However much money we raise, we’ll take it,” U Hla Myo Naing added. The committee is also planning on selling commemorative Bogyoke Aung San T-shirts to supplement fundraising efforts.
The competition will feature 31 teams and comprise about 69 matches over four months of play.
“This match is different from previous competitions. Both players and spectators have shown greater discipline,” said resident Salai Soe Moe Aung. He also expressed the hope that the good behaviour – perhaps motivated by the competition’s noble purpose – will permeate future matches.
– Translation by Zar Zar Soe
Residents of Magwe Region’s Ngape township will get to put their national pride on the pitch this month to help raise money for a statue of Bogyoke Aung San.