We are fairly successful in bringing girls of age group 10-12 from class rooms to sporting fields. In the last years despite COVID-19 infused breaks, we now have about 240 kids in our rolls, to train, mould and create a future for them.
Sports development is an integrated program. Education, skills, recreation and other vital parameters need to be combined in adequate measure so that sports is not developed at the cost sports or vice versa.
These girls that we brought on to the fields are interested in sports, especially hockey. Are we at the same time are equal confident that these kids are interested in studies and acquiring related skills which can make their life?
We found in our long association with sports in schools program that mostly students who don't take enough interest in studies, come forward for taking up sports. In general, sports and studies are viewed separately by all - schools, teachers, students and espcially parents. Its a hard reality.
In OTHL, we foresee both education and sports can go hand in hand. We have been trying to prove this on field. We always therefore held out that studies are must to be a good hockey player.
We never compromised on this. We spent huge fortune in education, online one, during both waves of COVID-19.
To further our mission, we impart school curriculam based eduction to all our stake holders. We are clear sports need not be practiced round the year, even for the elite. Our approach is 6-7 months for sports, and the academically intensive spells of, say September, January to March are totally devoted to education. We only advise them to practice on all Sunday in these spells, which actually help them regenerate their energies and take away the boredom of unifocus preparation.
We just plan this way, but execute necessary sub-programs to see that they study well. Besides online classes, we encourage them to take of private tution for the subjects they find it difficult to get good marks and assessment.
Providing scholarships (Rs. 1000 to 3000 per month) to select OTHL kids is one way to realize their educaitonal potential
The other way was to teach them directly by our volunteers, one or one and half our before the practice sessions.
This approach worked satisfactorily. At least a study session per week is being conducted reguarly in all our OTHL centres.
Another area of our activity is imparting skills - stichting, usage of computer and videos. The last mentioned is to make interested ones for media jobs.
We bought two sewing machines two years ago. Services of two tailors who can teach our girls stitching were acquired. Many girls took interest, and are being trianed. They can now stitch nickers, jerseys and skirts. This effort also fulfils one of our long felt need. We dont get small size jerserys, nickers and skirts for the sportspersons of age group we target. We get only medium and more sizes but not sizes we need (28,30,32 etc). These trainee girls could reduce our burden. May be in a year's time, we may be self sufficient to manufacturing our own kids. This is a long shot.
Some of our volunteers took intest in teaching themselves. Himanshu, for instant, teaches basics of computer learning. Our mentor K Arumugam teaches English, both textual and contextual. Couple of tutors were hired for imparting science and mathmatics.
Our kids are taking interest, which is a great sign
We are looking forward to more and more volunteers to organize such classes, if not taking up, to include more and more group of boys and girls.
Interested volunteers, retired women teachers and professionals may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.