A pioneering effort by the city based schools hockey NGO One Thousand Hockey Legs has recently delivered a new entity called Cairns Juniors Hockey Cup 2015 in New Delhi with many new features that may give the NGO new wings to fly sky high. Cairns India, a top gear Oil producing company based in India and abroad, entrusted Hockey Citizen Group, which runs a unique schools hockey promotion product One Thousand Hockey Legs, with organizing a school hockey tournament in the mid of January.
Hockey Citizen group which runs the One Thousand Hockey Legs program was founded by K. Arumugam and is a volunteer based, vibrant, not-for-profit-organization. The very idea of working at grassroot level was founded on the spirit of volunteerism.
Being the player-kid oriented organization, the One Thousand Hockey Legs, proposed to hold the event into categories, Under-14 and Under-17, with prize money, refreshment package and heart warming many other features.
To start with the tournament got the Hockey India affiliations, which meant the umpires and officials were deputed by the parent body, and HI website also provided enough publicity to the event through their social media and official website. This tournament was also included in the HIís annual calendar. To give a pep to the event, a press conference was organized in a high profile hotel, located adjacent to the venue of the competition.
At The Connaught Hotel, dignitaries such as Ajit Pal Singh, captain of the 1975 World Cup, his colleague HJS Chimini in the gold winning team, and triple Olympians Harbinder Singh graced the occasion along side Kukoo Walia, Secretary General of City based Nehru Society. Six kids, who will play the tournament, were also invited and their presence was a treat to eyes. There was decent publicity next day undefined
Strict measures were taken to scrutiny age of the players. At least in one case, six players were asked not to take part as they appreared over-age to the Under-14 tournament. This has sent a strict message, and the organizers can feel satisfied that right age boys played the tournament,; this is not a small progress.
Three aspects that need to be mentioned include:
****All the kids were presented a new jersey
*****Each team was given transport charge.
******Refreshment worth about a hundred rupees was given to each member of the playing team
No teams walked out, no teams pulled out despite there was a tournament going on simultaneously in the city.
The two top billed teams, Saket J block and SS Mota Singh, which defeated Modern School in the semis, fought for the title on Wednesday against full crowd.
For the first time, floodlights were on for this age group final; and it was a sight to see young kids play under the luxury of full lights.
It was also a great augury that most boys were cajoled to bring their parents. The NGO really was over-whelmed by the response of the parents whose presence will go a long way in building hockey culture in India, especially Delhi
It was also a great gesture that the entity had in its provision to honour select individuals as under: *****The Most energetic Player of the Tournament
*******The most energetic goalkeeper of the tournament
*********The most energetic young kid of the tournament
Such three awards were given to both sub-Junior and Junior categories.
Livewire midfielder of GBSSS, Maharuali Kanaiya go the Most energetic player award in the Junior category, while Mohammed Zaseem of GBSSS, saket J block, who stopped three shoot outs in the final, got the most energetic goal keeper epithet.
Irshad Ali of GBSSS, MB Road, was honoured with the most energetic kid of the tournament. For the sub-Junior category, it was Ganesh (SBV, Ashok Nagar), Deepanshu (goalie of GBSSS, Khanpur) and Kishen Kashyap of GBSSS, Begumpur ) have won the same honours, respectively.
Despite being a hectic hockey season with HHIL about to take off, the event elicited some publicity in the print media, though one always feel it could have been more.
Presence of good crowd in the final, surge of parents to the stands, very high prize money, the precision with which the event was staged, the energy and enthusiasm of up and coming hockey kids seen throughout the week surely give a glimpse of what lies ahead for schools hockey in Delhi.
Article first published in www.stick2hockey.com
Developing sustained passion for Hockey by introduction of Hockey to pre and early teenaged children and simultaneously promoting playing sport as a culture and tradition, thereby contributing to develop a sports loving society.