Arjuna award winner Riaz: ‘Hockey Gives You Recognition’
“Everyone in the society desires their children to become a doctor or engineer. Nothing wrong in this. But, in the society sports gives recognition more than one asks for”
Thus said Md.Riaz, former India captain, to the students of Swami Vivekananda Higher Secondary School in Thirubhuvanai in Puducherry, recently in a function.
Former star midfielder Riaz was the chief guest. The school invited him to inculcate hockey culture amidst students.
Riaz took personal interest to visit the school and travelleld all the way from Chennai to Thirubhuvanai.
The Thirubhuvani school is one of the five official subscribers to One Thousand Hockey Legs program. Hockey Citizen Group handed over sticks to about 25 students of this school last week.
Elaborating his speech, which was well received by the young generation, Riaz said, “I am just a graduate. But played for the country, represented India at the Olympics, Asian Games, World Cup etc. If I go out, there may be hundreds of engineers, doctors and other professionals there, but I am always recognized. Even this school invited me as Chief Guest, not because I am a graduate, but because I played for the country, and a sports man”.
Riaz advised parents to give equal important to sports, especially hockey, without compromising education.
“Sometimes one might be a great player and if cannot fill up a form, it won’t look nice. Therefore, education and sports are must for every aspiring youngseters”, Riaz reasoned.
After the function, Riaz took the students to ground, spent considerable time to explain basic skills to them.
“The students there are new to hockey. I feel they will pick up faster. It would be nice if a coach is provided full time. Am happy the school principal and swami of the Mutt are interested to in hockey sport ”
Riaz captained India for many tournaments in 1999, and now works as Manager in Air India, Chennai.
Government of India honoured him with sports world's top Arjuna Award in 1999.
Hockey Citizen Group coordinated with Riaz and the school management for the successful visit of the star to a school located in a rural area.
Riaz has done great service to One Thousand Hockey Legs Program, by being present in the school premises.
The school thus got to interact with a highly decorated player in the class of Riaz.
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.