Hockey India Ka Abhiyan Har Ghar Ho Hockey Ki Pehchan” will ensure that every household in the country is exposed to the sports ~
New Delhi, 25th April 2023: Hockey India recently announced the ‘Hockey India ka Abhiyan Har Ghar Ho Hockey Ki Pehchan’ program, which aims to engage all districts in hosting regular coaching camps and intra-district competitions in order to spread hockey to remote parts of India. In Jharkhand, the Simdega district has become a shining example, with Hockey Simdega organising several tournaments for young children, giving young players from all over the district ample opportunities to compete in high-level tournaments.
Shri Manoj Kumar Prasad, President of Hockey Simdega and Vice President of Hockey Jharkhand, provided a detailed description of how the tournament is being held in the district to engage young players from all Panchayats.
“In Simdega, there are 94 Panchayats. We are combining 3-4 Panchayats and hosting trial tournaments between teams from these Panchayats. We have already held 22 tournaments across 87 Panchayats, with around 1900 players competing. We will organise two more tournaments comprising teams from the remaining 7 Panchayats,” Manoj said.
The selected youngsters for these tournaments are under 16 years old and have very limited hockey experience in their careers. Manoj gave an explanation of the rationale behind maintaining these selection criteria, stating that “we are selecting players under the age of 16 because our aim is to provide them with proper coaching so that they are ready to be selected for sub-junior tournaments by next year.”
“We plan to host a tournament between the winning teams from all 24 tournaments. From there, the top four teams will compete in a tournament alongside eight other hockey teams from Simdega who have experience of playing in district-level and other such tournaments,” Manoj explained the plan.
Another reason, Hockey Simdega decided to host the tournament across Panchayats rather than directly at the district level was that the association wanted youngsters from all areas to have an equal opportunity to compete.
“If we host a tournament in the district headquarters, aspiring players who come from rural areas or tribal belts do not get a chance to compete as they are unable to travel far. So, we appoint a team of 2-3 members from the technical committee that visits schools across these Panchayats, engages with representatives and selects a team of players. Then we post advertisements in newspapers and social media a week before conducting the tournament,” Manoj explained.
Hockey Simdega is partnering with schools to educate young students about how sports changed the lives of Jharkhand hockey stars Salima Tete and Sangita Kumari, who both went on to represent the Indian Women’s Hockey Team in international competitions, in order to promote the sport in areas where hockey is not popular and to spread awareness of its importance in everyone’s lives.
“We are also reaching out to youngsters from troubled regions because we want our initiatives to be as inclusive as possible. We also want to educate youngsters that they can stay in Jharkhand and showcase their talents without having to travel to major cities,” Manoj said.
He went on to praise Hockey India for announcing a slew of initiatives at the district level to encourage young students to compete and increase the popularity of hockey throughout India.
“With initiatives such as these, we are confident that hockey will surely reach every household in India. That has been our dream for many years and we will continue to work alongside the national body to achieve this goal,” Manoj signed off.