We always pondered over one main issue in schools hockey. That pertains to basics -- how to select 20 or 25-member team when almost triple number of boys or girls turn up.
Almost everyone of them is new to hockey, and therefore game's skill is ruled out as the selection criteria.
How to then go about? Good physique, sprinting capabilities, grasping hockey quickly and so on.
This aspect came in big measure recently in Delhi. Ashok Vihar's Kulachi Model School, our second entrant to the OTHL Program in the capital, presented an opportunity to experiment.
Due to the efforts of L.N. Manchanta, Head, Physical Education Deptt, and hockey in-charge of the school Ms. Neeru Khullar, about 150 boys and girls turned up on Monday on their school grounds.
Khullar and OTHL coach-designate for the School Dinesh Kumar (former national level domestic player of Delhi) engaged them in various activities. Their main task was to prune them to 25 for boys and the same number for girls.
After some warm up physical exercise was conducted, warming exercise followed, they were given the sticks and balls and taught the basics.
Height, space between the two legs while standing erected, sprinting style, keenness to learn, quicker grasp and such aspects were taken note of. Still, a fair selection could not be done in the same day. Therefore, after pruning the strength to nearly 80 (including girls), the coaches are further spending their time and energy on pinpointing the team.
Gyan Chand, who is drafted to coach Govt School in South Delhi is also particular about selection. He says mere acceptance of the list by the Physical Education staff of the school is not correct.
According to him he has vast experience of coaching school children for more than a decade in the same area'selection should span over a period of a week.
He is going by Class, the other day about 50 boys were subjected to various drills. They were all from Class VII. In the coming days he will focus on Class VI.
It's good we dwell deep into matters that concern the game.
Physical Education in-charge of Begumpur school Kulwinder Singh also interested to have a reasonably long selection process.
We are trying to procure a coach for the school.
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.