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News for 14 May 2015

All the news for Thursday 14 May 2015

Spain too strong for Scotland

Scotland Senior Men were on the receiving end of a 6-0 loss at the hands of Spain in Barcelona this afternoon.

Two goals from Jordi Carerra Oliva, added to strikes from Alex Casasayas, Alvaro Iglesias, Miki Delas and Alex de Frutos gave the hosts a convincing win in game one of the three match series.

The two sides meet again on Friday afternoon.

Scotland Senior Men: Gavin Sommerville (Western Wildcats), Jamie Cachia (Beeston), Michael Ross, Gavin Byers (both Grove Menzieshill), William Marshall, Alan Forsyth (both Surbiton), Ross Stott (East Grinstead), David Forsyth (Hurley), Nicky Parkes (Sheffield Hallam), Gordon Amour, Aedan McCrossan (Edinburgh University), Hamish Imrie (Grange), Wei Adams (Canterbury), Lee Morton, Ross McIntyre (both Kelburne), Murray Collins (Loughborough University), Russell Anderson (Cannock), Gregor Hirst (Clydesdale)

Scottish Hockey Union media release

This man quit his plush job to teach hockey to underprivileged kids

Gaurav Saxena

Founder of One Thousand Hockey Legs, K Arumugam (r), receives the Hockey India President’s Outstanding Achievement Award from HI President Narinder Batra (l).

K Arumugam — a walking hockey encyclopaedia — is a man on a mission, and in a hurry. Born in a nondescript village in India, he studied at IIT and authored a dozen books on his favourite sport, India’s national game–hockey. A geologist by training, a few years ago he left his lucrative job and a career in journalism to chase his dream of providing underprivileged children with a new orientation, hope, and progress.

In 2008 Arumugam started One Thousand Hockey Legs (OTHL); an NGO that visualises a career for underprivileged kids aged from 11-15 through sports. The organisation provides children with hockey training at their schools,thereby encouraging regular school attendance and an interest in both sports and academics. Seems like a simple task, but in practice it needs a great deal of work to realise the objective.

OTHL provides free hockey training, as well as a monthly scholarship of Rs.500 for students who top their class in academics. Presently, it is largely funded through the strained pockets of the founder. Arumugam feels that the urban poor are poorer than the rural poor, and their schools, mostly government ones, have no proper playgrounds. Seen against the reality of poor quality of teaching, he says the kids are virtually idling in schools on working days and in parks on holidays. “In schools, they are confined to the four walls, so to say. There is a need to get the kids hooked to something useful which can motivate them. What better tool than sports,”argues Arumugam.

The OTHL was put on board after India failed to qualify for the Olympics in 2008–a tragedy for our national sport that has gotten only a single Olympic gold so far. Six years down the line, OTHL successfully runs programmes in 80 schools across five cities in India–Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Kanpur and Puducherry. Sports, Arumugam feels serves a double purpose: “It develops the child’s personality while at the same their talent is nurtured professionally to revive the glory of hockey, which is now on a downhill and needs immediate course correction.”

An exemplary story from the OTHL initiative is that of Rahul Gharai, a rickshaw puller’s son, who had been a trainee at the NGO in a Delhi Bengali settlement. When he joined the hockey team he was in the sixth standard. During a game he was playing with the OTHL team, the principal of a top school of Delhi noticed him and got him admitted to his institution.

Says a smiling Rahul: “Mein bahut khush hun ki mujhe aisa mauka mila. Mein ab padaai aur hockey dono mein dhyaan lagata hun.(I am happy that I got such an opportunity. I can now concentrate both on my studies and hockey.)” Recently, 14-year-old Rahul has been selected for the state team for the junior national hockey championship.

In Delhi alone, 24 schools have well-established hockey teams and playgrounds and as Arumugam points out: “These schools never had a hockey team or a playground fit for playing before.” In 2014,OTHL won the Hockey India President’s Outstanding Achievement Award.

A visibly proud Arumugam says in conclusion: “The number of boys graduating to play for the state in national school games, inter-zones and age-group teams is increasing.I hope to see more and more boys and girls from our stables knocking the doors of the national team.”

The author, Gaurav Saxena, has a major in Physics and is a sports enthusiast. He has been a hockey player in his college and likes blogging and travelling places. For more information, visit One Thousand Hockey Legs website ... read more on social.yourstory.com


Young guns aim to fire their team to the top

Classic clashes await in Antwerp as world’s best seek top spot

Antwerp will be hosting two of the men’s and women’s Hockey World League Semi Finals, and while there will be mouth-watering fixtures throughout both tournaments, one of the most eagerly awaited encounters will be between the world number one and world number two women’s teams.

The Netherlands versus Australia; Oranje versus Hockeyroos; Hoog versus Flanagan; Sombroek versus Kenny; Paumen versus Blythe - sub-plots and dramas are inevitable as the two best hockey nations aim for the top spot in Antwerp. There is a triple prize for the victor - possible Olympic qualification, a place at the Hockey World League Finals and, of course, the confidence that finishing above close rivals will bring.

The teams are competing in different pools, so there is no guarantee they will meet, but if both teams play to their potential then an encounter in the play-off stages is likely. In recent times the Netherlands has enjoyed the upper hand. A 2-0 win against Australia in the final of the 2014 Hockey World Cup was the pinnacle of achievement for the Dutch team, cementing their place as the number one team. Paumen and company are currently World Cup holders and Olympic Champions – a title the Dutch defended at London 2012.

Australia, by contrast, are a team that has been through a long period of rebuilding.  At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the Hockeyroos were the world leaders in the sport. Not only did they dominate the field of play, they also were the first team to introduce the hockey tunic, an all-in-one garment that soon became de rigueur. The team, which contained hockey greats such as Alyson Annan, Rechelle Hawkes and Nikki Hudson – was named Team of the Century at a glittering ball in Canberrra.

But now, the Hockeyroos, led by former Australian international Adam Commens, has its eye firmly on the future and those past glories are consigned to history. The recent Champions Trophy saw a swing towards the Hockeyroos as the team took silver after losing out on shoot-out to Argentina in the final. The Netherlands had to settle for bronze.

In the battle for hockey supremacy, many players emerge as would-be heroes. Some, such as Paumen, Hoog or Flanagan, already hold icon status. But there are also stars in waiting, and in Antwerp, two players who are likely to make an impact are 24-year-old midfielder Lidewij Welton and Hockeyroo forward Kathryn Slattery.

Welton already has two Olympic medals and a World Cup to her name. She had played just 13 times for the Dutch senior team when she picked up a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and by London 2012 she was an integral part of the team. At the Champions Trophy in December 2014, after the Netherlands were beaten in the semi-finals by eventual winners Argentina, Welton spoke of the hunger in the Dutch squad to rebuild, reshape and chase more international success.

One of the Australian players who shone at the Mendoza Champions Trophy for the Hockeyroos was squad newcomer Kathryn Slattery. With only 15 caps to her name, the forward was always one of the busiest players on the pitch. Her harrying style of play and ability to get into goal-scoring positions will doubtless be a big plus as the Hockeyroos seek to win at Antwerp and seal their passage to Rio with just over a year to go.

FIH site

Women's National Team to offer Red, White, Blue & YOU clinics

This July, after the Pan American Games, the USA Field Hockey Women’s National Team will support the sport’s development through four Red White Blue & You player clinics sponsored in part by Teamzila.  The clinics, aimed at the intermediate to advanced players, will take place at two sites this summer – Wyoming Seminary Prep School in Kingston, Pa. and Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. on Sunday July 26 and Monday July 27, 2015. The program will also include a U-19 USA Field hockey Membership in every Red, White, Blue & You registration at no additional cost and regardless if they already have a membership.

"This is an exciting time in the USA with the recent successes of our national teams and the influx of international teams coming to the country,” stated Keli Smith Puzo, a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, who now serves on the Sport Development Team as an athlete manager role in addition to serving a regional role. “With this exposure comes multiple opportunities to grow the game, especially at the grass roots level. It is great to pair our national team players with those interested in getting more involved in the sport, fostering a greater community involvement and lifelong connections through developed relationships."

Each site will hold two clinics – one for middle school and one for high school athletes. Registration is $100 per athlete and includes instruction from five current Women’s National Team players, a t-shirt and an autograph session.  Additionally, we are able to provide a free coaching question and answer session for any local coaches at the Wyoming Seminary Prep School site.           

The clinics will consist of 3 hours of instruction and will focus on skills.  The middle school program will consist of stick skills, passing skills, skills on the backhand, shooting to score and a shooting demo.  The high school program will consist of skills on the backhand, aerials and flicks, shooting to score and a shooting demo.

USA Field Hockey hopes the National Team players’ love and enthusiasm for the game will be infectious to rising players and inspire them to dream and continue to play to the next level – whatever level that is!  Please click below to register for the various clinic offerings:

Wyoming Seminary Prep School Middle School Clinic:  July 26, 2015 9AM – 12PM (Click here to register)

Wyoming Seminary Prep School High School Clinic:  July 26, 2015 1:30PM – 4:30PM (Click here to register)

Wyoming Seminary Prep School Coaching Q&A Session:  July 26, 2015 4:45PM – 5:30PM (Click here to register)

Rutgers University Middle School Clinic:  July 27, 2015 1PM – 4PM (Click here to register)

Rutgers University High School Clinic:  July 27, 2015 5PM – 8PM (Click here to register)

USFHA media release

Shahnaz confident of Pakistan’s qualification for Olympics

KARACHI: Pakistan hockey team will qualify for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics despite heavy odds stacked against it, chief coach Shahnaz Shaikh said on Wednesday.

“Pakistan team learnt a great deal during their recent sojourn to Australia and the experience will hold them in good stead at the World Hockey League,” he told APP in an interview ahead of his team’s departure for Seoul to play 4-match series against South Korea.

Pakistan’s matches against South Korea will be played on May 19, 21, 23 and 24.

He said Pakistan is ranked tenth in International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) list and they played against world number one Australia, New Zealand and South Korea but they fought well in the event.

“It was not an easy tour Down Under as we played in less than 10 degree temperature in Australia after the team had trained in 40 degree Celsius at Lahore,” the former Olympian said. “It was not an easy task to adjust quickly in a totally different climate and environment,” he pointed out.

He said Pakistan was without two of their best players like half back Rashid Mahmood and forward Mohammad Rizwan Senior as they were playing Dutch League in the Netherlands. Both are set to return to the national team for the tour of South Korea.

He said the Australians displayed classical, clinical and speedy game in Hobart which reminded one of the pattern that Pakistan used to display in the 1960s and the 1970s.

Shahnaz Shaikh said he was satisfied with the progress and performance of the team keeping in view all the problems they are facing. “There are serious financial constrains as well as shrinking pool of players at the national level, but still I am confident of Pakistan team’s qualification for the Olympics.”

“I know what I am saying because Pakistan won the Champions Trophy silver medal in India and another silver in the Incheon Asian Games last year which was no fluke,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Hockey World League will be held at Belgium city of Antwerp from June 20 to July 5. Pakistan is drawn in pool “A” with Australia, France, India and Poland while host Belgium, China, Great Britain, Ireland and Malaysia are placed in pool “B”. Pakistan will take on Poland in their opening match on June 20.


By George! Its Koshy

By Jugjet Singh

Subahan (right) with new deputy George Koshy.

BUSINESSMAN George Koshy tore the formbook apart when he beat early hot favourite Datuk Nor Azmi Ahmad to become the new men's deputy president in the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) yesterday.

George, also a former Kuala Lumpur HA president and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club owner, narrowly beat Azmi 16 to 13 votes.. even though when nominations closed he only had one from KL, while Azmi received 10 nominations.

In the women's section, S. Shamala was voted in as the deputy president when she beat K. Maheswari 17 to 12 votes.

A total of 29 delegates cast their votes after the Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

The seven vice-presidents who will run the MHC show for the next four years are Datuk Wan Ahmad Nizam (28 votes), Datuk Ow Soon Kooi (28), Satish Kumar (25), Manjit Majid Abdullah (24), Datuk R. Radhakrishnan (24), Nik Zarah Nik Kadir (27) and S. Nagula (19).

Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal is the sixth MHC president, as he won unoposed when nominations closed on April 28.

Immediately after elections, Subahan held a meeting with the new council, and appointed a Chief Operating Officer and Treasurer.

"After discussing with the new members, we have decided to appoint former international K. Logan Raj as the CEO while the treasurer's post will go to S. Selvendran," said Subahan.

The windfall that Subahan received yesterday was when out-going president, for two terms from 2008, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah announced that he will help clear MHC's debt which is about RM2.6 million.

"I wish the new council all the best, and would also like to state that I will clear the debts so that they can start on a fresh slate. And I hope they can achieve what I could not, that is to take the national team into the top-10 bracket in the world (Malaysia are 12th ranked now)," said Tengku Abdullah.

Subahan was elated, but said MHC will have to find their own cash and not depend solely on Tengku Abdullah, who was yesterday made into MHC Honorary President.

"I would like to thank Tengku Abdullah for his gracious gesture to clear all our debts, but we in the MHC must also work hard to make sure the money comes in and there are no more shortages," said Subahan.

Azmi, who held the post of team manager, immediately resigned after losing: "Now that new people have been elected to helm MHC, I hope they will be able to pay all those they owe money to. I would also like to announce my immediate resignation as national team manager."

Incoming deputy president Koshy said: "Now the work starts, and we need to immediately solve some matters with careful planning. I thank the delegates who placed their confidence in my hands."

The immediate task at hand for Subahan and his council is to appoint a manager and sort out some coaching problems.

"Yes We need to look into team manager and also Neil Howgood's tenure with the national team as soon as possible. So I will meet the players by next week and hold a discussion with them before making a decision.

"As for the coaches, I have met with chief coach Tai Beng Hai and assistant coach Stephen ven Huizen and will also make a decision soon on Hawgood who is still hired as a consultant," said Subahan.

The Malaysian team will play in the Belgium World League Semi-finals which is a qualifier for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and they need to finish among the top-four to play in Brazil.

Hawgood was hired as consultant for six months, and his tenure expires before the WL Seni-finals on June 20 to July 5.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

New MHC president gets cracking after congress elections

By S. Ramaguru

Newly elected MHC deputy president George Koshy (left) being congratulated by former MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah after the MHC Congress ended on Wednesday. - IBRAHIM MOKHTAR/ The STAR

KUALA LUMPUR: Newly-appointed Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal got straight down to business.

After the MHC elections on Wednesday, he swiftly appointed former national player K. Logan Raj as MHC’s first chief executive officer and S. Selvendran, a senior manager from an accounting firm, as treasurer.

Subahan was supposed to decide on the national team’s coaching structure but he deferred it to next week, saying “I need to consult the coaches and players first”.

The new committee were expected to decide on the fate of Australian Neil Hawgood.

He was initially hired as coach but the previous committee made him a consultant and kept Tai Beng Hai as coach.

“This is a very crucial issue and one that needs immediate attention. I’ve spoken to the coaches, now I’ll meet the players before deciding. It’ll take a week,” said Subahan at the MHC Congress here.

Subahan also appointed himself to head the national team management committee and finance committee.

“This is in line with my decision to give priority to these two issues. All the other appointments, including the four independent members, will be done on May 30,” he said.

The Congress also saw two deputy presidents and seven vice-presidents elected to a new four-year term.

Former national team manager and KLHA president George Koshy won deputy president’s (men) post while Professor S. Shamala won for the women’s category.

Koshy defeated incumbent senior vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad 16-13 while Shamala defeated K. Maheswari 17-12.

The seven vice-presidents elected are Datuk Wan Ahmad Nizam, Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, S. Satish Kumar, Datuk N. Radhakrishnan, Majid Manjit Abdullah (men); Nik Zarah Nik Abdul Kadir and S. Nagula (women).

After the election, Nur Azmi resigned as manager of the national team.

The Congress later adopted a motion by the Selangor HA to make outgoing president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as honorary president of the MHC.

The Star of Malaysia

George Koshy, the new MHC deputy president

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) new Deputy President George Koshy. Pix by Goh Thean Howe

GEORGE Koshy was voted as the new Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president at their Annual General Meeting today.

Koshy beat Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad 16 to 13 votes. A total if 29 delegates voted.

In the women’s deputy president race S. Shamala beat K. Maheswari 17 to 12.

The seven vice presidents voted in were Datuk Wan Ahmad, Manjit Majid Abdullah, Datuk N. Radhakrishnan, Satish Kumar, Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, Nik Zarah Nik Kadir and S. Nagula.

New Straits Times

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