Eight One Thousand Hockey Legs boys have made it to the Delhi State team for the Hockey India Junior National Men's Championship (A Division). Its a creditable performance for an NGO to produce so many players for a State team. Defender Kishore Arya and Rohit Gharai, forwards Rahul Gharai, Abhishek Rana and Sunil Kumar, midfielders Sushil Chauhan, Amit Gupta and goalkeeper Md. Zaseem made us proud when they knocked the doors of Delhi Hockey with superlative performance in the selection trials. A fortnight long trial was held in Delhi's Jamia Milia grounds where our boys excelled.
The Delhi team consisted of 18 boys of which OTHL boys make up the bulk. Goalkeeper Zaseem Md. was a seventh class student when we started hockey at his school. He got selected for Citizen Hockey XI for Vadodara Sub-Junior Naitonals six years ago, and then did not look back. He was among the three boys got selected for the Sports Training Centre of National Institute of Sports, Patiala, Punjab. The others who go the STC labels were Kishore Arya and Amit Gupta. Kishore Arya is a familiar name in OTHL, being the first and the only player so far to represent India from the OTHL stable. He was part of the gold winning U-18 Asia Cup team. Amit Gupta is a product of Govt Boys Sr Secondary School, No.1 in South Delhi's Khanpur. He represented Delhi state twice in the Sub-Junior Nationals before making his trip for the same State to Bhopal.
Abhishek Rana is a brilliant academics, now a student of Jamia Milia. Winner of Silver at the Delhi State Championship 2018, Abhishek has been churning out wonderful performance quite a long time, but got Delhi selection for the first time. Sunil Kumar, a student of Govt Boys Sr Sec School, Saket, has made it to the National Hockey Academy in 2016, and then going great guns. Its his maiden Junior Nationals. Brothers Rohit and Rahul, the former is a defender while his younger sibling is a forward, have cemented their spot in the State with good show in Sub-Jr levels. Sushil Chauhan, much like Rana, is brilliant at studies and sport. Kishore Arya and Sushil Chauhan, in fact are permanent fixture in Delhi State teams, this year's Bhopal marks their hattrick of selection.
OTHL was started in Delhi 2010. Within eight years, the NGO could spot and nurture so much talent. The Delhi team defeated the hosts Bhopal 4-0 in the opener, a goal from Sushil Chauan included. In the second match, professional team of Chandigarh was halted at 1-1. Delhi though went down 5-1 to Maharashtra. One match is to go, that will be against title contender Odhisha.
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.