All the news for Tuesday 18 May 2021
New Zealand hockey team refuses to tour India for Hockey Pro League matches
The Black Sticks Men were to play at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar on 29th and 30th May 2021, but have now decided to pull-out of the tour due to rising covid-19 infections in India.
By Abhijit Nair
Indian men's hockey team (Source: Hockey India)
In yet another blow to the Indian hockey team ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, New Zealand has refused to travel to India for the Hockey Pro League matches amidst the second wave of covid-19 pandemic which has wreaked havoc in the country.
This development comes after India's tour to Europe for Hockey Pro League matches against Great Britain, Germany and Spain were indefinitely postponed owing to the coronavirus imposed travel ban over the country.
The Black Sticks Men were to play at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar on 29th and 30th May 2021, but have now decided to pull-out of the tour due to rising covid-19 infections in India.
The Indians were in some great form the last time they played, beating Olympic champions Argentina at their own den last month. Ever since the Europe tour was postponed, the Indian team has been practicing for the Tokyo Olympics at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre in Bengaluru.
Better Coordination Helped Indian Men's Hockey Team Improve Results, Says Defender Gurinder Singh
Indian men's hockey team defender Gurinder Singh said that better coordination between players in recent tours of Europe and Argentina helped the team achieve good results.
Gurinder Singh said that the national side is fine-tuning a few techniques ahead of the Olympics.© Twitter/TheHockeyIndia
The Indian men's hockey team defender Gurinder Singh, who has played 58 matches for the national side, has said that good coordination among the players helped the team achieve good results in its recent tours of Germany, Belgium, and Argentina. India remained unbeaten in their tour of Europe in March and was handed one loss in their tour of Argentina in April. "One of the things that we have always focused on is good coordination on the field. Skill is important, but if there is no coordination between players then the skill of players will not be utilized properly," said the 26-year-old in an official Hockey India release.
"We coordinated very well during our tours of Europe and Argentina. We didn't hesitate while passing the ball as the players were moving well on the pitch," Gurinder added.
"This is a very good sign for us and the coordination we had definitely helped us achieve good results in our matches this year," Gurinder said.
The defender also added that he feels very fortunate to be playing alongside experienced defenders such as Harmanpreet Singh and Surender Kumar.
"We have a fantastic balance between youth and experience in our side. I feel very fortunate to have senior players such as Harmanpreet Singh and Surender Kumar in our team," Gurinder added.
"They have played over 100 matches for India, and I have learned a lot from them. Our seniors are always there to help us with our games. I hope that I can become a player like them at some point in the future," said Gurinder.
While speaking about the team's immediate targets, Gurinder said that the national side is fine-tuning a few techniques ahead of the Olympics.
"All of us are confident about our games ahead of the Olympics. However, there is always room for improvement and therefore we are fine-tuning a few aspects of our games at the moment," Gurinder said.
"Doing well against Germany, Great Britain and Argentina has given us a lot of confidence, but we have to build on our performances and become fully prepared for the challenge at the Olympics later this year," concluded the 26-year-old.
“Our aim is to peak at the right time,” says midfielder Monika
Bengaluru: Despite doubts persists over holding of the already postponed Tokyo Olympics number, Indian women’s hockey team did not let down their guards, putting all efforts to be ready for the battle there. According to Monika, the seasoned midfielder, the team’s prime objective is to peak at right time. She however dwells much deeper in the team’s preparation details including the Red Session.
For the Indian Women’s Hockey core group, now in training at Bengaluru, Saturday mornings are the toughest. “It is always a red session,” exclaims Monika, Indian Women’s Hockey Team’s experienced midfielder. Throwing light on their training during the ongoing National Coaching Camp at SAI Centre, Bengaluru, Monika continues to explain, “Red sessions are mostly higher-intensity training sessions where we focus on match intensity with the idea of superseding match intensity with small-sided variations.”
“Each session is either focused on speed or endurance or direction focused. We have about two-three such sessions a week. Those are the days when our fitness levels are really tested. Each day we train anywhere between 2 hours to 4.5 hours,” Monika says.
The player from Chandigarh explains that the coaching staff is planning week-on-week training in such a way that the team peaks at the right time. “The focus now is to keep improving on our strengths and work on the week points. Our aim is to peak at the right time. Every player’s workload is taken into consideration and improvement is mapped accordingly. Our awareness about each session, how it helps, what it’s for etc is much better now than before. Earlier, we would just blindly focus what Coaches said,” states Monika who was part of the Indian Women’s team that participated at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.
She further explains how each player keeps a chart that’s uploaded on to Google docs where the Scientific Advisor Wayne Lombard monitors crucial aspects such as sleep, recovery etc. “Surely, we have become more tech-savvy,” says Monika.
“We maintain a chart that has details of what we do the entire day. We need to mention details of activity we pursue for recovery such as number of minutes spent for massage or ice bath or pool session etc. We also record the number of hours we sleep. I feel by doing these activities on our own, the coaching staff also inculcated a lot more awareness about how we must take care of our bodies and remain injury free,” Monika opines.
With less than 75 days for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Monika feels the team is in the right mind-set to achieve their goal. “We have had a few setbacks with some of our players testing positive, but they are all well and back to training now. We don’t want to think of the issues that are out of our control. Our focus is to improve each day and be ready for the Games and the entire group is mentally prepared,” Monika concludes.
Indian women hockey players have become more tech-savvy, says mid-fielder Monika
The player from Chandigarh explained that the coaching staff is planning week-on-week training in such a way that the team peaks at the right time.
Monika, who was part of the Indian team that competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, said Saturday mornings sessions are the toughest. (FILE PHOTO) - K. Murali Kumar
The Indian women hockey players have become tech-savvy and now understand the purpose of their training sessions, which they were earlier following blindly, experienced mid-fielder Monika said on Monday.
Monika, who was part of the Indian team that competed at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, said Saturday mornings sessions are the toughest.
"It is always a red session. Red sessions are mostly higher-intensity training sessions where we focus on match intensity with the idea of superseding match intensity with small-sided variations," she said in a release issued by Hockey India.
"Each session is either focused on speed or endurance or direction focused. We have about two-three such sessions a week. Those are the days when our fitness levels are really tested.
"Our awareness about each session, how it helps, what it's for etc is much better now than before. Earlier, we would just blindly focus what Coaches said." The player from Chandigarh explained that the coaching staff is planning week-on-week training in such a way that the team peaks at the right time.
"The focus now is to keep improving on our strengths and work on the weak points. Our aim is to peak at the right time. Every player's workload is taken into consideration and improvement is mapped accordingly." She further explains how each player keeps a chart that's uploaded on to Google docs where the Scientific Advisor Wayne Lombard monitors crucial aspects such as sleep, recovery etc.
"Surely, we have become more tech-savvy," says Monika.
"We maintain a chart that has details of what we do the entire day. We need to mention details of activity we pursue for recovery such as number of minutes spent for massage or ice bath or pool session etc. We also record the number of hours we sleep.
"I feel by doing these activities on our own, the coaching staff also inculcated a lot more awareness about how we must take care of our bodies and remain injury free." With less than 75 days to go for the Tokyo Games, Monika feels the team is in the right mind-set to achieve their goal.
"We have had a few setbacks with some of our players testing positive, but they are all well and back to training now. We don't want to think of the issues that are out of our control.
"Our focus is to improve each day and be ready for the Games and the entire group is mentally prepared," she said.
Arul baffled by no training in Bukit Jalil decision
By Jugjet Singh
National coach Arul Selvaraj is peeved that his wish for his players to train at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil has hit the wall. -NSTP File Pix
National coach Arul Selvaraj is peeved that his wish for his players to train at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil has hit the wall.
A call to the National Sports Council (NSC) yesterday revealed that his charges would have to stay at home and conduct physical training around their housing estates or go to the nearest parks to sweat it out.
"I really don't understand what is going on because parks and shopping complexes are still open to the public while the stadium in Bukit Jalil is only for national trainees.
"Isn't it safer for my players (as well as national junior and women's teams) to train at the stadium where the public is barred from entering?
"Jogging and sweating it out in parks with the public is more dangerous, don't you think?" questioned Arul.
A visit to the Pudu Ulu park and Taman Tasik Perdana, which are opened to the public, had people jogging, walking and working out yesterday.
"There should be more standard and rational rules as I have a tournament coming up in a few months.
"I need the players with me, not train them online.
"I am still hoping this stadium rule will be relaxed soon. For now, I have given my players instructions on what to do on their own," said a baffled Arul.
The only senior international tournament left this year is the Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) in Dhaka on Oct 1-10.
As for the national men and women's junior teams, they need to prepare for the Junior Asia Cup (JAC) tournaments, which are qualifiers for the Junior World Cups.
Although the JAC tournaments have been moved many times because of Covid-19, the players need to be kept on their toes while waiting for the Asian Hockey Confederation (AHF) to announce suitable dates.
The men's ACT was supposed to be held in Dhaka on March 11-19, while the women's event was to be in Donghae, South Korea on March 31-April 6.
Both tournaments were not held last year because of the deadly virus.
The women's ACT is slated for Oct 24-31 in Donghae.
The Movement Control Order (MCO) ends on June 7, and there is no guarantee it will not be extended for another two weeks.
New Straits Times
Natl. women's hockey team player tests positive for COVID-19
One member of the South Korean national women's hockey team tested positive for the new coronavirus Tuesday, a local government said.
The athlete, in her 20s, received the positive result while training in Jecheon, about 170 kilometers southeast of Seoul, according to the city government.
On Monday, she got tested for the virus after being notified that she had come into contact with a COVID-19 patient living in Goyang, just north of Seoul.
The national team has been training at a hockey stadium in Jecheon and living together since May 5 to prepare for international tournaments scheduled for the second half of the year.
All 28 members of the team had initially confirmed they tested negative for COVID-19 before joining the training camp.
The infected player left the team residence last Friday and returned to the camp Sunday. She was found to have had dinner with the Goyang patient while off-base.
"The players have been staying in individual rooms at a lodging facility near the hockey stadium," an official with the Korea Hockey Association said. "We told them (Monday) not to be in contact with people outside the team."
The health authorities are conducting virus tests on the rest of the hockey team.
The Korea Herald
Eva de Goede set to bow out at 2022 Women’s Hockey World Cup
Holland celebrate 2018 World Cup success PIC: England Hockey
Eva de Goede will join Hague-based HGC next season and plans to end her international career on her own terms following the 2022 Women’s World Cup.
Midfielder De Goede, 32, leaves Amsterdam after 11 years playing in The Hague.
De Goede, voted best player in the world in 2018 and 2019, hopes to lift the Olympic title this summer for the third time with Oranje women and is hopeful of playing in the upcoming EuroHockey after breaking her wrist in April.
She said: “I understand that this choice comes as quite a surprise to some people. I also have to let it sink in, now that the play-offs have just ended.
“But I have a very strong feeling that this is what I should do. I don’t see it as phasing out. I think this choice is good for my growth as a player and as a person.
“I can’t wait to fight for points again. To struggle and to plow every Sunday. Moreover, I see it as a challenge to add something to a team that has ended at the bottom in the past two seasons.
“In addition, HGC is a club with a lot of ambition and a great history [eight league titles since the introduction of the big league] that really appeals to me.”
De Goede was expected to retire from international duty after last summer’s World Cup but now plans to bow out when Holland co-hosts the women’s World Cup in Amsterdam.
“In a full stadium is where I want to say goodbye,” she added.
She is currently on 235 caps and is likely to go into second behind Minke Smeets (née Smabers) as the most capped Dutchwoman. Smeets finished on 312 caps.
HGC have made major signings already, having picked up Giselle Ansley and luring three British stars to the continent for next season.
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The Hockey Paper
Bloemendaal shoot their way to 21st Dutch men’s championship
HC Bloemendaal took the Dutch men’s championship with a second successive shoot-out win over SV Kampong after normal time, once again, finished 2-2.
It was their 21st crown as they fought back twice in normal time before Maurits Visser produced an outstanding shoot-out series to secure the win and ultimate glory.
For Kampong, there was much to regret as they looked the better side and led 2-1 when Floris de Ridder was shown a red card for an altercation with Thierry Brinkman and Bloemendaal scored soon after.
Early on, Robbert Kemperman’s sharp corner rebound gave the Utrecht club – who were without injured number one goalkeeper David Harte – the lead.
Brinkman equalised with a touch to a Floris Wortelboer cross but Silas Lageman put Kampong back in front in the third quarter with an acrobatic touch to a high ball.
But Bloemendaal were able to capitalise on their extra man with Brinkman again slipping home the goal for 2-2.
In the shoot-out, Visser made three big saves while Jorrit Croon, Brinkman and Florian Fuchs all converted for the victory.
“This is a wonderful final outcome to take the national title at home”, Visser said afterwards. “This was a struggle. They put it up to us very well and we couldn’t get the ball under control.
“We always keep going, that’s the strength of the team. We are a close-knit collective. A real team. Everyone is friends with each other.”
Euro Hockey League media release
Matla’s last second strike sees Den Bosch land 20th title
Frédérique Matla’s last second penalty corner handed Den Bosch their 20th Dutch national championship title as they recorded back-to-back 1-0 wins over AH&BC Amsterdam.
She whipped home the corner in the last play of a pulsating final to make it a perfect season for the Brabant club, adding to their EHL Women’s gold and their top spot in the Hoofdklasse regular season.
It provided the perfect sign-off for coach Raoul Ehren who finished off with yet another title following his illustrious 13-year stint in charge, landing nine Dutch championships and seven European crowns.
It was also time for Ireen van den Assem to say goodbye to the club which she joined in 2010. Despite injury, Ehren allowed her a spot on the subs bench as a tribute.
There was a downside, though, as Lidewij Welten went off injured with three minutes to go following a collision with Floor de Haan which has imperiled her involvement in the European Championships.
For Amsterdam’s part, they pushed hard but could not land the vital blow and so were left to play second fiddle to Den Bosch yet again this season.
It meant no perfect send-off for their departing players Charlotte Adegeest, Kimberly Thompson and Eva de Goede who announced on Monday morning she would be joining HGC.
Euro Hockey League media release
Invercargill hockey trust plans $2m upgrade to turfs, lights, pavilion
Plans for a major redevelopment of the hockey complex at Turnbull Thomson Park in Invercargill are underway with the hope work will be carried out during the next three off-seasons.
The estimated $2 million project will deliver two new playing surfaces, improved water and light facilities and an upgraded pavilion.
ILT Hockey Turf Charitable Trust spokesperson Rob Michelle said the redevelopment’s timing couldn’t be better to help stimulate hockey in the community.
“The current surfaces are at the end of their predicted life-span, yet we have junior hockey numbers in Invercargill increasing each year.
“We need to ensure the love of the game continues and to do everything we can to keep new players involved long-term,” he said.
Phase one of the planned three-phase project includes replacing the surface of Turf 1, upgrading to a LED pitch lighting system and installing a new watering system. This phase is planned for action in summer 2021-22.
The current water-based hockey turfs onsite were built new in 2009 with the surfaces featuring the same technology as that used at the Beijing Olympics.
“[The surfaces] were world-class then and have had a lot of great hockey played on them, but they also come with a life expectancy of around 10 years. They have started to fray and we’ve had to make some temporary repairs to see them through another season before we have the funding needed for the upgrade.”
At $400,000 per turf to resurface, Michelle said plans are already in place to help protect the new surfaces for as long as possible.
The upgraded web-based, LED lighting system would significantly reduce electricity costs as well as light spill to neighbouring properties, he said.
The new ultraviolet, contamination-free watering system will improve the health and safety of turf users.
Phase two of the plan involves the resurfacing of Turf 2, which would take place in 2022/2023. Then the following summer, Phase 3 would be implemented with a pavilion upgrade. The latest proposed concept sees a new face on the existing clubrooms, plus and extension with enhanced viewing space and would include cafeteria services with function capabilities.
The estimated cost of Phase 3 is $1m.
“Currently there is a lack of warm-sheltered viewing. The pavilion upgrade is needed to help grow support for hockey in Invercargill, it will also help increase player social involvement, widen its multipurpose community use and extend revenue opportunities,” Michelle said.
He said there is a lot of work to do before the plan becomes a reality but is hopefully that, with the support of the community, hockey in Invercargill can “continue to thrive”.
The first fundraiser for the project is a 12-month raffle called the ‘Strike 12 Raffle’.
SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge
Grantleigh College: Saturday 15 May
A reason to celebrate! Grantleigh College First X1 team jump with joy at winning the North Coastal Regional of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge that took place on Saturday 15 May at their school. Grantleigh won the tournament in the finals against Felixton College. Photo by Val Adamson
After a two year break, Grantleigh College reclaimed the North Coast Regional title of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge for the fourth time on Saturday 15 May.
Host school, Grantleigh met defending champs, Felixton College in the regional final. Felixton dominated the opening period of play but never quite got into the Grantleigh circle to fire off a shot. After 5 minutes of defense, Grantleigh managed, for the first time, to get into Felixton’s half but the surge was short lived as a number of infringements allowed Felixton back into the Grantleigh 22.
With majority of the action in the first period taking place in the midfield, Grantleigh managed to break the defensive shackles and make a run for the Felixton goal. Nearing 8 minutes of play, Grantleigh earned a long corner. A Felixton defender didn’t manage to keep her distance from the start of the set piece and was directed to the sin bin for 2 minutes. This resulted in the first short corner of the game.
Grantleigh’s first short corner attempt went to the castle, with a thundering shot being fired in but only going as far as a dashing first wave’s right boot. In the re-take of the short corner, Grantleigh changed up their attack, with the ball pinballing around the top of the circle, but were unable to capitalize.
Felixton had a slight breather after 90 seconds of play in their danger zone, the ball was cleared for the host’s second long corner. Grantleigh took advantage of the last few seconds of a 10 strong Felixton team, rocketing in the ball from just outside the circle in the hopes of finding a team-mate’s stick along the way. A lucky Josie Reilly was in the right place at the right time and managed to ricochet the shot into the Felixton net taking her team 1-0 up.
Captain for Grantleigh, Jessica du Plessis attempted to increase the lead 5 minutes later but an alert Senamile Mhlaba from Felixton magnificently charged down the shot. With 3 and a half minutes left of play, Grantleigh was awarded their third short corner but the Felixton defenders didn’t allow them any room, getting the ball out neatly.
As the game neared full time, Carla Janse van Rensburg found herself on the Felixton post with no defender marking her. Receiving the ball, she tried to chip in a sneaky shot, but an on-her-toes Mhlaba hugging the post, punched it away easily.
In the earlier Round Robin game between the two teams, the hosts netted two goals with Josie Reilly and Michaela Hagemeier scoring for Grantleigh.
This is the fourth Regional in the Take Two of the celebratory tenth year of the tournament. Grantleigh join Danville Park Girls’ High who won the first tournament in the Durban North Regional. Second regional winners from the uMvoti, uThukela and uMzinyathi Regional were Wembley College, followed by St Mary’s DSG in the Highway Regional. The fifth tournament, played the following day, was hosted by Durban Girls High School with teams from around Durban CBD taking part in the Durban Central Regional with Durban Girls’ College taking the title.
1 Grantleigh College, 2 Felixton College, 3 St Catherine’s, 4 Empangeni High School, 5 Richards Bay Christian School, 6 John Ross College
Publicity Matters media release for KZN SPAR Schoolgirls' Hockey Challenge
Queenstown GHS retain SPAR hockey playoffs title
SPAR Eastern Cape promotions and events manager Alan Stapleton (back left) with the Queenstown Girls’ High School team that won the East London Inland leg of the SPAR EC Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge in Queenstown yesterday. The team are, back from left, Thinama Qasana, Amy Styles, Kristin Schuman, Keagan Lottering, Jana Labuschagne, Rebecca Aylesbury, Sivu Matshoba, Hayley van Schoor, Alison Muir, Anuja Jomon, Luyolo Sokabo and, front, Jana Benecke, Courtney Stone, Tarien Wentzel and Nicolette Stone (coach). Photo: Charne Mungur
The Queenstown Girls’ High School team retained their title in the East London Inland section of the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls Hockey Challenge with a hard-earned win over Aliwal North in Queenstown yesterday.
On another day of exciting and competitive hockey, the defending champions won 2-1, holding off their opponents when they threatened to make a comeback with 10 minutes remaining.
The Queenstown tournament was the third of five playoff legs in the annual event and, thus far, GHS will join Collegiate and Clarendon in the provincial finals in Port Elizabeth on July 31 and August 1.
Each leg caters for about 100 players and further regional playoffs will take place in Grahamstown on Sunday and George on May 30.
GHS and Aliwal North won their respective pools yesterday to qualify for the final played over 20 minutes.
The nature of the format often makes for unpredictable results, but GHS put themselves in line for the title when they went 2-0 ahead, with both goals being scored by Anuja Jomon.
The Aliwal defence were not able to plug the gaps and twice Jomon found herself unmarked on the left post to slot the ball into the net.
However, Aliwal never stopped trying and when they broke upfield and eventually scored through Tine Pretorius from a penalty corner, the game was still in the balance.
But GHS were able to keep their nerve to triumph in another competitive tournament.
Coach Nicolette Stone said there was great excitement at the final result after they qualified for the provincial finals a second time.
“It was something the girls have really worked hard to achieve and it was a tough day of hockey. There were some really good teams in the tournament, especially Aliwal North and Hangklip,” she said.
“To qualify for the final is such an awesome achievement because it’s hard to play for only 20 minutes, with no room for error and not much time to regain composure when you make a mistake.
“The final provincial event to be held at Collegiate is one of the best tournaments to attend, so we are obviously looking forward to that.”
She acknowledged the role played by SPAR EC to make the hockey challenge so special.
“We won an awesome SPAR voucher, while throughout the day SPAR spoilt us with lunch, snacks and refreshments. This is such an amazing tournament with a great vibe every time.”
It was a good day on the field for GHS because their U16 side, who filled in for Burgersdorp, came third, defeating Hangklip in a penalty shootout.
Stutterheim came fifth after a 1-0 victory against a spirited Templeton outfit, while De Vos Malan were seventh following a 2-0 result over St Christopher’s.
Fullstop Communications media release for Eastern Cape SPAR Schoolgirls' Challenge