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News for 07 August 2015

All the news for Friday 7 August 2015

Europe’s women ready to make their mark on EuroHockey Championships

Europe’s top women’s hockey teams will go head to head for the European title and a ticket to Rio

Netherlands Ellen Hoog and her team will be looking to continue their form into the Unibet EuroHockey Championships

World class hockey returns to London as the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015 get underway at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The women’s competition will run from Saturday 22 August until Sunday 30 August and will feature teams from Belgium, England, Spain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Scotland.

This year the women will be have an extra incentive for claiming the championship title - the winners will also guarantee qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as Continental Champions.

In the women’s competition, world champions and world number one ranked Netherlands will arrive on the back of a dominant display at the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Final in Antwerp.

Having scored 25 goals in four games in the pool stage they moved on to the final stages of that competition where they defeated India 7-0, world number two ranked Australia 5-1, before beating Korea 2-1 in the final.

Germany, ranked fifth in the world, secured Olympic Qualification with a third place in the HWL Semi-Final in Valencia. The reigning European Champions needed two shoot-outs to take third spot, the second of these seeing off world number three ranked Argentina.

Great Britain revert back to their individual nations for the Unibet EuroHockey Championships. The majority of Danny Kerry’s side who won seven games from seven in Valencia are likely to represent England, ranked seventh in the world, at this event.

Playing in their homeland at the HWL Semi-Finals in Valencia, world number 14 ranked Spain produced some outstanding performances, gaining a draw against Argentina and a win over China before a shoot-out loss to Germany ended their medal hopes. They ended up sixth after a 3-1 defeat to the USA.

Another team who drew confidence playing in front of a home crowd at the HWL Semi-Final, world number 12 ranked Belgium suffered consecutive shoot-out defeats to Korea and Japan to finish in seventh place with a 4-2 win over Italy in Antwerp.

That 4-2 loss to Belgium condemned world number 16 ranked Italy to an eighth place finish in the HWL Semi-Final. The Azzurri will have taken confidence by a 4-0 win over France in the pool stages. In Valentina Braconi, who scored twice in the tournament, they have an exciting up and coming talent.

Poland, ranked 24 in the world, took ninth place at the same tournament after enduring some heavy losses to the likes of New Zealand and Australia. The performances of captain Marlena Rybacha, the goals of Amelia Katerla and Natalia Wisniewska as well as a 5-1 win against the French will give them something to build on as they too look to avoid relegation.

Scotland, who are now ranked 17 in the world, were not involved in the HWL Semi-Finals. They have however been in plenty of action over the last couple of months. In June they had the better of a test series against Wales, before scoring 18 goals in three games against the Czech Republic, with Nikki Lloyd, Vikki Bunce and Kareena Marshall scoring the majority of their goals.

FIH site

Draw announced for 2015 Oceania Cup

The draw for the 2015 Oceania Cup has been confirmed with the Black Sticks Men and Black Stick Women set to play Australia, Fiji and Samoa from the 21-25 October at the TET Multisports Centre in Stratford.

The event, which is held every two years, has become increasingly important for the Black Sticks Men. The Kiwis need to beat World No.1 Australia and win the tournament to book a spot at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Oceania Cup secretary general Bob Claxton said it’s great to have the trans-Tasman rivalry between Australia and New Zealand, as well as Fiji and Samoa all competing at the same tournament.

“Both Fiji and Samoa have made significant progress in the last two years, in particular I think Fiji Men may surprise everyone with their ability.

“This year we added Tonga and the Solomon Islands to the Oceania hockey family and American Samoa, New Caledonia and Guam are keen to start playing by the end of 2016,” said Claxton.

A fourth place finish for the Black Sticks Women at the World League Semi-Final in Belgium was enough to confirm their spot at the Games, but there’s still lots on the line.

Coach Mark Hager says the clear aim for his side will be to win back the title and be the best side in Oceania. The Kiwis were pipped 4-5 in a penalty shoot-out in the final against Australia at the last Oceania Cup held in 2013.

On top of the action happening on the turf, The Lady Killers will be putting on a power-packed show on Saturday afternoon. And then on Sunday, the popular Seaside Markets are relocating from New Plymouth to Stratford to offer up some of the region’s best food, drinks and goods.

Plus, The Good Home Bar and Restaurant have shown their support by offering vouchers to those who purchase family and multi-day tickets.

Multi-Day, Family and VIP Passes will go on sale at 9am on the 17 August at www.dashtickets.co.nz. Daily sales will be available from 9am on the 31 August. Tickets are limited, it’s recommended you buy online than at the gate.

2015 Oceania Cup Draw

Wednesday 21 October 2015
11.30am, Australia Men v Samoa
1.30pm, Fiji Women v Samoa
3.30pm, New Zealand Men v Fiji
5.30pm, New Zealand Women v Australia

Thursday 22 October 2015
1.30pm, Australia Women v Samoa
3.30pm, Fiji Men v Samoa
5.30pm, New Zealand Women v Fiji
7.30pm, New Zealand Men v Australia

Friday 23 October 2015, Rest Day

Saturday 24 October 2015
8.00am, Australia Women v Fiji
10.00am, Australia Men v Fiji
12.00pm, Samoa Women v New Zealand
2.00pm, Samoa Men v New Zealand

Sunday 25 October 2015
9.15am, 3 v 4 Play-off, Women
11.30am, 3 v 4 Play-off, Men
1.45pm, 1 v 2 Final, Women
4.00pm, 1 v 2 Final, Men

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Jillaroos Argentina tour named

20 women selected to play a series of matches in October

Hockey Australia has named a 20-athlete group to represent the women’s National Junior Squad - the Jillaroos - in a series of competitive matches in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from October 14 to 28.

Providing young athletes with exposure to international touring and competition is a significant strand of Hockey Australia’s High Performance strategy, designed to ensure the sustainability of its national women’s program and strengthen the depth of talent in the national squads.

This important touring opportunity has been made possible thanks to the support of one of Hockey Australia’s key partners, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association, through its NextGEN AUSComGames program.

The tour will primarily focus on exposing the young athletes to a high standard of international competition in a touring environment that closely resembles the tour structure of the Hockeyroos when travelling overseas. Experiencing the tour events and matches will assist the athletes’ potential transition into the National Senior Squad environment over the course of the next twelve months.

“While on tour, the athletes will gain long-term development opportunities ahead of the 2016 Junior World Cup, which will play a significant role in assisting them in their transition towards senior international competition for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2020 Olympic Games,” Hockey Australia National Talent Pathway Manager, Michael Crooks, said.

“The ACGA’s NextGEN program is designed to help our member sports provide opportunities for emerging athletes to develop. The Argentina tour will be an important step along the athlete pathway for the Gold Coast in 2018 and beyond for these young players.” ACGA Chief Executive Officer, Craig Phillips, said.

Jillaroos squad for tour to Argentina
Name (Hometown, State)
Kristina Bates (Port Melbourne, VIC)
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW)
Madison Fitzpatrick^ (Cabarita Beach, NSW)
Savannah Fitzpatrick^ (Cabarita Beach, NSW)
Andrea Gillard (Lithgow, NSW)
Laura Gray* (Goulburn, NSW)
Kate Hanna (Constitution Hill, NSW)
Greta Hayes (Maroubra, NSW)
Rene Hunter (Lithgow, NSW)
Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD)
Ambrosia Malone (Gold Coast, QLD)
Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
Aleisha Power (Clackline, WA)
Madi Ratcliffe (Warrnambool, VIC)
Michaela Spano (Adelaide, SA)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Tina Taseska (Palmerston, ACT)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Sophie Taylor (Camberwell, VIC)
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW)

*Laura Gray is an athlete at the ACT Academy of Sport.
^Madison & Savannah Fitzpatrick are athletes at the Queensland Academy of Sport but grew up in Cabarita Beach, NSW.

Hockey Australia media release

KLHC poised to break free

By Jugjet Singh

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) are tipped to break away from the Premier Division chasing pack this weekend, as they play Sapura and UniKL in the Malaysia Hockey League.

KLHC started the season by hammering double champions Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) 6-2 in the Charity Shield last Sunday, and are looking good to keep their momentum.

Sapura could only beat UniKL 2-1 last Sunday.

"Even though we hit a big score past THT, there were many areas of our game that still needs to be tightened if we want to continue winning.

"I've been in the MHL long enough to know that a team needs to be consistent to win the title, and one big win does not mean anything at the early stage," said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.

THT coach Sarjit Singh believes Maybank will not be easy today, after losing 1-2 to Tenaga Nasional: "Both of us have lost our opening matches and I believe it will not be an easy encounter as we chase for points. However, my foreign players from Argentina are now more accustomed with the local players and we are ready to give a better fight."
RESULTS (Wednesday):
Division One Group B:
UiTM 2 PKS-KPm 3; Women's Group B: KL-Sukma 0 Uitm Lions 0, PKS-KPM 4 SSTMI Thunderbolts 0.

Premier Division: Tenaga Nasional v UniKL (National Stadium II, 6pm), Maybank v Terengganu HT (National Stadium II, 8pm), KL Hockey Club v Sapura (National Stadium I, 8pm).

Division One Group A: MSP-YP-SSP v TNB Thunderbolts (Kuantan, 5pm), MSNT-THT v MBI (Batu Buruk, 5pm); Group B: PKS-KPM v Nur Insafi (National Stadium I, 5pm).

Women's Group A: ATM Pernama v The Cops (Tun Razak, 5pm), penang Juniors v Politeknik (Sg petani, 5pm), MSN Kedah v PKS KPM (Padang Serai, 5pm).

Division One Group A: Masum USM v BJSS (KLHA, 5pm); Group B: UniKL Young Guns v Politeknik (National Stadium I, 5pm), UiTM v SSTMI ((National Stadium I, 7pm), ATM Airod v Nur Insafi (Tun Razak, 5pm).

Women's Group B: SSTMI Thunderbolts v KL Sukma (Taman Daya I, 5pm), Manjung v PKS-KPM (Azlan Shah, 8pm), MSN Kedah v UiTM Lions (Padang Serai, 5pm).

Premier Division: Maybank v Sapura (National Stadium II, 6pm), UniKL v KL Hockey Club (National Stadium II, 8pm), Tenaga Nasional v Terengganu HT (National Stadium I, 8pm).

Division One Group A: BJSS v MBI (KPM, 7pm), MSN-THT v TNB Thunderbolts (Batu Buruk, 7pm).

Group B: UniKL Young Guns v SSTMI Thunderbolts ((National Stadium I, 4pm), ATM Airod v PKS-KPM (Tun Razak, 5pm), UiTM v Politeknik (National Stadium I, 6pm).

Women's Group A: MSN-PHT v Politeknik (batu Buruk, 5pm); Group B: Manjung v UiTM Lions (Azlan Shah, 5pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Hafizuddin bent on claiming stake in the senior team

By S. Ramaguru

Hafizuddin (right) and Mohd Hazrul (left) are team-mates in both Terengganu and Project 2013 squad.

KUALA LUMPUR: Goalkeeper Mohd Hafizuddin Othman plans to use the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) as a springboard to cement his spot in the senior national team.

The 23-year-old Terengganu goalkeeper had a nightmarish outing in the opening game of the Premier Division, being whipped 6-2 by Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) on Aug 2.

After letting in three easy goals, he was replaced by Mohd Hazrul Faiz in the third quarter.

But Hafizuddin is determined to bounce back.

“It wasn’t a good start for me. The first three goals came in quick succession ... our defending was poor. Two of the goals were from penalty corner rebounds and the third from a direct flick. I cannot offer any excuses, but we need to improve on our defending,” said Hafizuddin, who kept goal for the Project 2013 squad that finished fourth in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi.

Last year, he was selected as the third goalkeeper in the senior training squad.

When veteran S. Kumar pulled out of the team at the recent World Hockey League Semi-Finals in Belgium, Hafizuddin was flown over as replacement.

He did not get to play any matches in Belgium but the experience proved invaluable as he got a feel of the big-time atmosphere and watch the other top goalkeepers in action.

“It was a good experience to train at a higher level and get a feel of being at a top-notch tournament. My aim is to be the first-choice goalkeeper with the senior team.

“But every step is a learning curve. I’m disappointed with our start in the league ... I will have to buck up. I see this as the best chance to show my potential and stake my claim for a place with the senior team.

“At the same time, I want to help Terengganu retain the titles we won last year.”

Terengganu have two crucial MHL matches this weekend – against Maybank  on Friday and Tenaga Nasional on Sunday.

Maybank will be looking to bounce back from their opening loss while Tenaga will be seeking to push on from their winning start.

“I cannot take my place for granted in the Terengganu team,” said Hafizuddin, who was the first-choice goalkeeper last season.

“Hazrul was also in the Project 2013 squad and he’s good also. I’m sure he will want to upstage me.”

The other Premier Division matches will see Tenaga taking on UniKL and Sapura facing KLHC. 

The Star of Malaysia

Mc Kenzie ends Malvern unbeaten Hockey run

Keon Mc Kenzie got the decisive goal with two minutes left on the clock as Guyana Under-21 handed Courts Malvern Under-21 its first loss, 3-2 on the penultimate day of round-robin matches in the inaugural Players Sports Under-21 Hockey Tournament at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Tuesday night.

Beaten in their first meeting 5-3, Guyana Under-21s were eager for revenge and took a seventh minute lead through Aroydy Branford, but within four minutes T&T international Shaquille Daniel replied for Malvern as both teams ended the first 15 minutes quarter at 1-1. Guyana Under-21 took a 2-1 lead into the half-time whistle as Branford got a second in the 26th minute, but eight minutes after the resumption Daniel got his second of the match for a 2-2 scoreline.

Both teams failed to find the target in the target, but with two minutes left in regulation time, Mc Kenzie fired home the winner for Guyana Under-21 to go top of the table with 12 points from five matches, one ahead of Malvern with last night’s final round of matches left to play ahead of today’s semifinals.

In Wednesday’s other match, Queen’s Park got its second win of the tournament over a T&T Combined Squad 3-1 with a goal each from Jarryon Paul (32nd), Che Modeste (40th) and Justin Lovelle (60th) after Sheldon Isle had given their opponents an eighth minute advantage.

Last night, (Thursday), the final day of round-robin play, T&T Combined Squad came up against Malvern and Guyana Under-21s meet Queen’s Park and following the conclusion of the round-robin, the top team will face the fourth placed finisher while second and third will lock horns in the semifinals tonight (Friday)  from 6 pm ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) third place match and final which flick off from 4 pm.

Players Sports Under-21 Hockey Tournament summarised results
• Queen’s Park CC 3 (Jarryon Paul 32nd, Che Modeste 40th, Justin Lovelle 60th) vs Combined Squad 1 (Sheldon De Isle 8th).
• Guyana U-21 3 (Aroydy Branford 7th, 26th, Keon Mc Kenzie 58th) vs Courts Malvern 2 (Shaquille Daniel 11th, 38th).

Current Players Sports U-21 Men standings
Teams    P    W    L    PSW    PSL    F    A    Pts
Guyana U-21    5    4    1    0    0    12    8    12
Courts Malvern    5    3    1    1    0    17    8    11
QPCC    5    2    2    0    1    10    7    7
Combined Squad    5    0    5    0    0    1    17    0

NB: PSW - Penalty Shootout win. PSL - Penalty Shootout loss

The Trinidad Guardian

Keeping Kids in the Game

by Kyle Boyer, USA Field Hockey's National Development Director

Did you know the average dropout age for youth sports is 12?  Yes, this is very early to be giving up a sport a child has potentially just started 4-5 years prior. So let’s look at why kids drop out.

What is the number one reason a child gives up a sport? According to research done for True Sport, the top reason for children to dropout is that they are no longer interested in the sport. The second reason was that it was no longer fun and third and fourth were that the coach played favorites or was a poor teacher and the desire to participate in other activities. If the number one reason for dropout is a child is no longer interested in the sport, we obviously have to keep them engaged and entertained. So how do we do that? I would even take it a step further and say that if a kid has a good coach, who is fair and doesn’t play favorites, a child would have fun and would have less desire to participate in something else. If that is the scenario, they will be in they process of developing a love for the sport, which I won’t get into now since our very own Keli Smith Puzo has already covered that topic for us in a developmental article.

After 6 years with U.S. Lacrosse, the national governing body for the sport focused on 19 and under development of the game, I have learned many things about the growth of sport. The most important thing I learned was that good coaches are the key. Let’s think about this for a second. To keep kids in the game we have to keep them interested, let them have fun, provide a fair coach and decrease their desire to try something else. What’s the main ingredient in all of those items? I would wholeheartedly argue that the coach is the key ingredient – either creating an early positive or negative experience in what the sport is and how much fun it can or cannot be.

So how do we foster an environment where coaches are providing early positive experiences? At the youngest age groups, the focus has to be on fun. We also have to understand that the best athletes at say, age 9, are not going to be the best at age 15. What you are looking at here is the Athlete Development Model. In order to ensure we are creating athletes for life in field hockey, we need to adopt this model in everything we do. We need to be focused on the right things for each age group. For ages 0-12, we are in stage 1, allowing for discovery, learn and play of the game. Keeping score should be optional and the focus should be on teaching the fundamental skills of field hockey. If a child wants to dribble the ball around in circles in front of their own goal showing their mastery of the skill, so be it. If his or her team happens to get scored on because of it, so be it. They were working on developing their skill and not focused on the score of the game. Sure, over time, we need to demonstrate to him or her that the integrity of the game is actually to have a winner and a loser and that is accomplished through scoring goals, but for now, why not celebrate the dribbling? Really, why do we care if our child wins or loses at any age under 12? I can tell you, I have no idea how many soccer games I won at 12. I can tell you that I remember having fun and that I played until I was 29 and physically couldn’t play anymore after four knee surgeries. That my friends, is sport and is what we are looking to accomplish – creating a sport that is fun and focused on the right things at the right time in the pathway of the athlete. I encourage everyone to look at the United States Olympic Committee’s Athlete Development Model and see how your program is doing in terms of following it. Are your program’s coaches correctly focused on what they should be for each age group you have?

USFHA media release

Now, hockey in Anantapur gets a Spanish touch

Players from Spain training with the RDT Hockey Academy players at Anantapur on Thursday.

For the 60-odd young hockey players from Anantapur, the annual visit by the Spanish hockey team from Barcelona is God sent boon for the outfit imparts them the European style of hockey.

The eight-member team, including two women players — Noelia Lopez and Francina Bel — is travelling the length and breadth of the district promoting and teaching the new tricks of the game to the youngsters.

“Thanks to the Rural Development Trust (RDT), a non-governmental organisation, sports and games are looking up in Anantapur. The RDT management regularly fetches experts from Spain, a country, which is passionately involved with the RDT, in games like football, hockey and tennis. Former world No. 1 tennis player Rafeal Nadal came in 2010 to inaugurate his tennis academy at the RDT premises,” says Mr. Yugandhar Reddy, a volunteer.

Apart from teaching the nuances to the youngsters, the team from Spain is also taking up orientation classes to physical education teachers from the district on August 12 to enable them to update their knowledge.

The eight-member Spanish team, including two women players — Noelia Lopez and Francina Bel — is travelling the length and breadth of the Anantapur district promoting and teaching the new tricks of the game to the youngsters

The Hindu

Treasure trove of Indian hockey’s Olympic history lost

The donated items, meant for a proposed museum which never came about, included an Olympic blazer, medals and rare pictures.

In this December 16, 1956 file photo, Balbir Singh (left) poses with his gold medal. The 91-year-old triple Olympic gold-medallist maintains that in 1985, he had donated his medals and memorabilia to the then SAI Secretary on being told that they would be displayed in a 'show window' at the then proposed National Sports Museum.

A piece of Indian hockey’s golden history seems to have been lost for good courtesy the apathy of Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials, who have no clue about the priceless memorabilia donated way back in 1985 by legendary Olympian Balbir Singh Sr.

The donated items, meant for a proposed museum which never came about, included an Olympic blazer, medals and rare pictures.

The 91-year-old triple Olympic gold-medallist maintains that in 1985, he had donated his medals and memorabilia to the then SAI Secretary on being told that they would be displayed in a show window’ at the then proposed National Sports Museum.

Balbir Sr said he was later told that the Museum was to be opened in Delhi to inspire the youth of the nation.

But an enquiry about the items before the 2012 London Olympics at the request of The Olympic Museum revealed that SAI officials were clueless about their whereabouts.

Nearly a year back, Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had visited Balbir Singh Sr at his residence in Chandigarh and SAI officials, while claiming ignorance about the entire matter, had promised a thorough enquiry.

In the meanwhile, a group of lawyers from the Punjab and Haryana High Court came carried out RTI campaigns in the SAI offices of SAI in New Delhi and the National Institute of Sports (NIS), Patiala, which revealed some astonishing facts.

The RTI replies of these authorities revealed shocking mismatch of statements, but more importantly, also an affirmation of the fact that the articles were indeed received by these authorities from Balbir Singh Sr.

Balbir Sr. had said that with the exception of his Olympic medals and the Padma Shri award, everything else — including his captain’s Melbourne Olympic blazer, 36 medals including Tokyo Asiad (1958) silver, and over 100 rare photographs — were among the items to have been donated by the gold medal winner of London (1948), Helsinki (1952) and Melbourne (1956) Olympics.

According to Balbir’s maternal grandson, Kabir Bhomia, the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Museum wanted the Melbourne Games blazer to be a part of the official London Olympics exhibition where he was the only Indian and the only Hockey player chosen among 16 icons across all participants in all disciplines in 116 years of the modern Olympics era.

“That is when we contacted SAI to get that blazer as Nanaji (Balbir Sr.) had nothing with him in London apart from Olympic medals. But SAI officials said that they didn’t know about the whereabouts of the treasure,” Kabir said.

Balbir scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the gold medal game of the 1952 Games.

“It is a disgrace! These articles are a part of our national sporting heritage. If this can happen to the priceless memorabilia of the greatest player produced by India, then I don’t think it can be seen as just negligence, people have to be held accountable and it should be looked as a case of criminal conspiracy to steal from our great country the greatest chapter of our glorious sporting history after independence,” said sports sociologist and Balbir Sr’s associate Prof (Dr.) Sudesh Gupta.

According to Kabir, the first RTI in this matter was filed on December 9, 2014 with SAI and it contained one basic question as to whether there was a proposal to set up a National Sports Museum at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium at New Delhi. Questions were also asked pertaining to the status of articles received from Balbir Sr.

The concerned authorities, in their reply sent to this RTI on January 5, 2015, stated that there was/is no proposal to set up a National Sports Museum at J.L. Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, and flatly denied having received any articles from the legend.

The second RTI was filed by the lawyers in the offices of NIS, Patiala on December 19, 2014 to which a reply was received on January 2, 2015 in which NIS acknowledged that it had received articles from J L Nehru Stadium, New Delhi to be displayed at NIS, Patiala.

“On further correspondence, NIS Patiala in its next RTI reply furnished a list of articles spanning 74 pages. This list, interestingly, did not mention any memorabilia/articles received from Balbir Singh Sr,” he said.

In the meanwhile, dissatisfied by SAI’s reply to its first RTI, the lawyers filed an RTI appeal to the Appellate Authority of SAI, which was transferred by SAI to J.L. Nehru stadium, New Delhi.

“The reply to this RTI appeal was received on March 19, 2015 and it left all of us shocked. This RTI reply revealed a list of items which were handed over by J.L. Nehru Stadium, to NIS Patiala in 1998. Item No 23 in this list clearly mentions that an Olympic blazer from 1956 Olympics was received from Balbir Singh Sr by J L Nehru stadium. This happens to be the same blazer which he wore as the only Indian to have been bestowed the honour of being flag bearer twice for the Indian Olympic contingent (1952 and 1956),” he said.

To make the findings more conclusive, another RTI was filed with J L Nehru stadium asking specifically whether or not they received anything from Balibir Singh Sr.

“A reply to this RTI was received on June 8, 2015 and it contained the same list of articles as were sent in previous replies. Item No 23 yet again mentioned blazer received from Balbir Singh Sr.

“Apart from the missing blazer, there is still no clue about where the remaining articles donated by Balbir Singh Sr have vanished. These include 36 medals won by him at national and international level and 100 plus historic photographs. In fact, saving his three Olympic gold medals (1948, 1952 and 1956) he donated everything else he won to SAI for its proposed museum,” Kabir said.

Touching upon the contradictions in the RTI replies, he said, “These replies have revealed a shocking mismatch of statements among SAI, J L Nehru Stadium & NIS Patiala.”

“While SAI, in its reply to the first RTI, totally rules out any past or present proposal to set up a sports museum, J L Nehru Stadium on the other hand not only affirms the existence of such sports museum but also provides a list of articles/memorabilia received to be displayed in it,” he claimed.

The Legend’s daughter Sushbir said, “We are shocked! We have been awaiting word from SAI since last year when the then Director General Jiji Thomson assured a thorough investigation. We will now explore other options to try to locate the missing articles.”

The Hindu

Naveed Alam brands PHF officials as murderers of hockey

Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD - Olympian Naveed Alam has termed current hockey federation’s officials as murderers of Pakistan hockey and demanded exemplary punishments for them to save the game from further disaster.

Naveed, who had coached Pakistan hockey team in 2008 and also took them to Beijing Olympic, where the team finished eighth with his six-month training and efforts, said: “It is not enough to send the culprits home, rather they must be given exemplary punishments so that no one else may dare to think about doing so.”

The ex-Olympian requested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is also patron-in-chief of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), to order FIA, CIA, NAB and other law enforcing agencies to start investigation against those who had destroyed hockey.

“The current PHF officials have turned the federation’s constitution into a homemade book and made a bulk of changes in it to save their skins. The original PHF constitution clearly bars convicted persons from even holding district level offices. Akhtar Rasool was convicted in Supreme Court attack in 1999, while Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) imposed 10-year ban on Rana Mujahid and world bodies also banned him for establishing a parallel POA,” he said.

“Akhtar Rasool claimed he had served Pakistan hockey for 50 years, but actually he and his companions had done nothing but created rifts in the team and internal differences surfaced during his captaincy in 1982. I demand the IPC probe committee to make its report public so that the masses may know the actual facts. The delay in probe committee’s report and action on it has been proving disastrous for Pakistan hockey,” he added.

Naveed held four persons responsible for the entire hockey debacle. “Qasim Zia, Asif Bajwa, Rana Mujahid and Akhtar Rasool are attached with the federation since 2008 in one or another capacity. They are actually mafias and kabza group. They were involved in human trafficking, which was proved against some certain individuals, but still they have been enjoying perks and privileges. They always cry about funds, but not ready to provide details of Rs 1 billion which they had received from government since 2008 till date.

“I am voice of Olympians, masses and all those who are in pain and worried about future of Pakistan hockey. I request the prime minister to order seizure of PHF offices immediately, and confine all the record and start investigation without any further delay,” he added.

Naveed said: “I have plans which can revive Pakistan hockey within one year. Persons like Khawaja Zakaullah and Mir Zafar Ullah Khan Jamali can restore lost pride and they must be handed reign of Pakistan hockey so that the national game may start progressing with each passing day.”

“I am very grateful to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) and Rawalpindi Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA) for stepping forward and offering financial help for hockey revival. I strongly recommend that Pakistan Premier Hockey League (PPHL) must be started without any further delay and international players must be involved in it as it will help our players to gain exposure of playing with international players and perform exceptionally well in international events,” he asserted.

“It is my humble request to the prime minister to show the incompetent persons door and bring in those persons who are technocrat, sincere with the game and want Pakistan hockey regain it lost glory,” Naveed concluded.

The Nation

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