All the news for Thursday 13 August 2015
Heartwarming two nil win for India over Spain
Sant Cugat del Valles: Forwards Akashdeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh helped India post a heartwarming 2-0 win over Spain today after tamely losing the opener.
India thus India restored their pride by this quicksilver win, as it went down 1-4 in the first test.
Both the teams attacked from the first minute and battled against each other with their skills and tactics. Sunil and Akashdeep exchanged good passes and took the ball close to the goal-post but the Spanish goalkeeper brilliantly saved it. With both the teams unable to open their scoring account despite of continuous efforts, the scores remained 0-0 by the end of the first half.
The second quarter started with both the sides looking for opportunities to open their account. After few minutes, Spain was awarded a penalty corner but the Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh deflected the ball and it went wide. Looking forward to enter the Spain’s D, Sunil earned a penalty corner opportunity but failed to convert it. India went on aggressive attack and took the lead as Ramandeep Singh struck a field goal in the 17th minute, thereby, opening their scoring account by 1-0. As no further goals were scored in the rest of the session, the first half ended in favour of India at 1-0.
The third quarter started with India keeping good control over the game. Ramandeep gave a beautiful pass to Akashdeep who hit the ball straight into the goal post in the 33rd minute that resulted in a field goal, which took the lead by 2-0. While, Spain was in dire need of finding the first goal, their strategies went futile and the score remain unchanged to 0-2 in favour of India.
India continued to dominate the last quarter of the game and maintained good pressure on Spain. Spain got a chance to score when they got a penalty corner but the Indian defence stood strong and Sreejesh saved it yet again for India. As Spain was unable to score any goal in the entire match, India won the match by 2-0 at the final whistle.
India beat Spain 2-0 in Europe hockey tour
SANT CUGAT DEL VALLES (Spain): Indian men's hockey team returned to winning ways and defeated hosts Spain 2-0 in the fourth match of the ongoing tour of Europe on Wednesday.
After emerging winners against France in the two matches of their first leg, India had started the second leg of the Europe tour with a disappointing 1-4 defeat against Spain on Monday.
But the Sardar Singh-led side bounced back strongly in the second match against Spain to level the series 1-1. Ramandeep Singh (17th) and Akashdeep Singh (33rd) scored two field goals to register the win for India.
Stunned by the loss in the first match against Spain, the Indians started aggressively on Wednesday. SV Sunil and Akashdeep exchanged some good passes to set up India's first scoring chance but they were denied by the Spanish goalkeeper, who made a brilliant save.
Spain also made some good forays inside the Indian circle but visiting team custodian P R Sreejesh was upto the mark as both the teams failed to break the deadlock in the first quarter.
Spain had the first shot at goal in the second quarter when they were awarded a penalty corner but Sreejesh deflected stood like a rock in front of the Indian goal to deny the hosts.
Sunil then earned a penalty corner for India but the visitors failed to convert the chance.
But soon India took the lead in the 17th minute through a field goal from Ramandeep Singh.
Thereafter, both the team's mounted attacks on each other's citadel but failed to find the back of the net as India went into halftime with a slender 1-0 lead.
After the change of ends, India started from where they left and kept good control over the proceedings.
India's positive play bore fruit three minutes into the third quarter when Akashdeep slammed the ball into the Spanish goal after receiving a beautiful pass from Ramandeep to double the visitor's lead.
India kept up the pressure on the Spanish defence and continued to dominate the remainder of the match, including the entire last quarter.
Spain got a chance to pull one back in the final quarter when they earned a penalty corner but the Indian defence stood tall as Sreejesh came to his side's rescue with another fine save.
India will play their last match of Europe tour against Spain on Thursday.
The Times of India
Heesh and Ames set for England debuts
By Mike Haymonds
GOALKEEPER Sabbie Heesh is set to make her England debut after her selection for the Unibet EuroHockey Championship in the Olympic Park, which starts next Friday.
Leicester’s Heesh, 23, already has two Great Britain caps.
Beeston’s David Ames will make his first England tournament appearance after previously earning 13 combined GB and England caps. Ames, a former Ireland international, qualified to play for England earlier this year.
The women’s 18-strong squad contains 14 athletes who won a silver medal at the same tournament two years ago while the men’s squad has 13 of the team which finished fourth two years ago and four – captain Barry Middleton, Ashley Jackson, Adam Dixon and Alastair Brogdon – who won the European title in 2009.
Several players can reach milestones at the tournament.
Women’s captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and vice-captain Alex Danson should reach a half century of goals as Richardson-Walsh currently has 48 for GB and England combined while Danson has 47 for England.
Giselle Ansley, Sophie Bray and Lily Owsley are in line for their 50th England caps while Laura Unsworth is currently on 99 England Caps.
Barry Middleton has scored 97 times for GB and England and Dan Fox will reach a century of England caps if he plays in five more at this tournament.
Men’s head coach Bobby Crutchley said: ”There won’t be huge changes to the way we play or approach games. We’re in good shape and we’re looking forward to what will be a tough tournament. The European Championship is one of the hardest competitions there is. You have four of the top sides in the world and then some really talented teams such as Ireland and Spain.
“We’re playing well and we’re confident so, fingers crossed, we can emulate 2009.”
Fulton Announces Eurohockey Championship Squad
Head Coach Craig Fulton has named his 18-man team that will compete at the upcoming Eurohockey Championships in London (August 21st-30th). Fulton has named an experienced team with Eugene Magee and Ronan Gormley having well over 400 caps between them. Fulton’s team recently finished 5th at World League in Antwerp, 2 places higher than their seeding, and above Malaysia (world no. 12) and Pakistan (world no. 10).
The Eurohockey Championships will see the Green Machine face tough opposition; 4 of the world’s top 5 teams will be competing in the tournament. However the squad have faced Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, the 3 highest ranked teams in Europe, as part of their preparations in recent months. Ireland is placed in Group B with Germany (world no. 3), Belgium (world no. 4) and France (world no. 17). The squad is much the same to that which secured 5th place in Antwerp with the 3 changes being the addition of Michael Robson, Mathew Bell and Jonny Bruton.
Discussing the selection and tournament, Coach Craig Fulton said “Final selection was done this week after a 3 week block of training and two important matches against World number two Holland. There are 3 changes to the Irish Men’s group that played WL3 in Antwerp. Matt Bell, Jonny Bruton and Micheal Robson come into the 18 man squad. It is a strong squad and there is plenty of belief and confidence in the group going into the Europeans on the back of good performances in Belgium. At the same time we are well aware of the challenge that lies ahead against the quality opposition at the tournament. Our goal is simple to finish as high as we possibly can.”
Eurohockey Championship Squad
1.Mathew Bell- Banbridge
2.Jonny Bruton- Three Rock
3.Peter Caruth- Monkstown
4.Chris Cargo- Racing
5.Mitch Darling- Three Rock
6.David Fitzgerald- Monkstown
7.Paul Gleghorne- Lisnagarvey
8.Kyle Good- Dragons
9.Ronan Gormley- Krefeld
10.Conor Harte- Racing
11.David Harte- Kampong
12.John Jackson- Reading
13.Eugene Magee- Banbridge
14.Shane O’Donoghue- Dragons
15.Michael Robson- Annadale
16.Kirk Shimmins- UCD
17.Alan Sothern- Racing
18.Michael Watt- Surbiton
Non Travelling Reserves
1.Lee Cole- Monkstown
2.Drew Carlise- Banbridge
3.Neal Glassy- Lisnagarvey
4.Mark Ingram- Pembroke
5. Stuart Loughrey- Cannock
Saturday 22nd 8:30am Ireland vs France
Sunday 23rd 8:30pm Ireland vs Germany
Tuesday 25th 1:15pm Ireland vs Belgium
Thursday 27th Classification
Saturday 29th Finals
Irish Hockey Association media release
Arjuna recommendation a recognition for goalkeepers: Sreejesh
KOCHI: The keeper of Indian hockey's fortunes P R Sreejesh has been chosen for the country's prestigious sporting honour, the Arjuna award.
The man from Kochi was one of the prominent names selected by the awards committee headed by Justice V K Bali on Tuesday. He is the first male hockey player from Kerala to be nominated for the Arjuna. Last year, five Malayalis were given the honour but Sreejesh is the only athlete from Kerala this time.
"Ever since I was blessed with a baby girl all good things are happening in my life. The TOISA award which I received in May was my first national level recognition. I took it as a good omen. I knew my name was under the consideration of Arjuna award selection panel. The Arjuna award is a huge honour for any sportsperson and I am absolutely thrilled," Sreejesh told TOI from Terrassa in Spain on Tuesday, where he is currently on a tour with the Indian hockey team.
It was Sreejesh's two stunning saves in the penalty shootout against Pakistan in Asian Games final last year which propelled India's qualification for Rio Olympics.
And the 27-year old from Kizhakkambalam in Kochi reckons that his performance in Incheon that day paved the way for his Arjuna nomination. "I still get goosebumps when I think of my performance against Pakistan in Incheon. I am sure that performance and the silver medal winning show in Glasgow helped me in getting this award sooner than expected," said Sreejesh.
It is after a 12-year hiatus a male goalkeeper is being recommended for Arjuna award. "I take this nomination as a recognition not just for hockey but for goalkeepers as well. Most often, we have seen that individual awards in the game go to goal scorers. But nowadays a few critical saves give goalkeepers as much attention and helps them in getting individual honours. So if my award recommendation helps two young kids to take up goalkeeping tomorrow, I will be most happy," quipped Sreejesh.
Though Indian hockey is undergoing a turbulent period, Sreejesh is wise enough not to react on the controversies in his moment of glory and treats bygones as bygones. "Our focus is on Rio Olympics and we don't even have a year. We are chalking out strategies with Roelant Oltmans and our endeavor is to give our best. A medal at Olympics would be tough but if we work hard nothing is beyond us," Sreejesh spells out his Rio dreams.
For a man who joined the GV Raja Sports School in Thiruvananthapuram as an athlete, Sreejesh's transition as one of the best goalkeepers in modern hockey is remarkable, feels N Ramesh Kolappa who along with S Jayakumar compelled Sreejesh to take up hockey. "He was reluctant to take up hockey at first. But both me and Jayakumar felt he had all the right ingredients to be a good hockey goalkeeper. And now our decision has been vindicated. Arjuna award is just one of the many recognitions awaiting Sreejesh if he continues his hard work," said Kolappa.
The Times of India
Players aggrieved at Arjuna snub
Uthra Ganesan / Y.B. Sarangi
Barely a month after the high of qualifying for the Olympics for the first time ever comes the dampener for women’s hockey with no player being recommended for the Arjuna Award this time as well.
And the two women who deserved it most — captain Ritu Rani and striker Rani Rampal — are expectedly aggrieved. Rani, in particular, has reason to feel hard done by. According to a member of the award selection committee, the government rules stipulate only three names can be sent per sport by the federation but Hockey India had sent more, with Rani’s name lower down the list and therefore not considered.
“How can the order of names decide who gets it or not? Does the position of a name in the team sheet during a match mean one player is more important than the other? Even in individual events, does it matter to the result where or when a player is scheduled to play? This is the most absurd thing to say and it only proves how women’s hockey is treated by everyone in the country,” Rani fumed.
The 20-year-old has been a key member of the national team since making her debut in 2010. At 15, she made it to the FIH All-Stars team at the 2010 World Cup. She was adjudged the ‘Player of the Tournament’ at the 2013 Junior World Cup, where the team won a historic maiden bronze.
The same year, she helped the senior team win bronze at the Asia Cup and last year, propelled India to a bronze at the Asian Games. It were her strikes in crucial games that helped India finish fifth at the Hockey World League Semifinals in Antwerp, keeping the road open for a maiden Olympics qualification.
Performance in the last five years are considered for Arjuna.
“I was so confident of getting the Arjuna this time that I had even told my parents to prepare for coming to Delhi. I did not even bother to follow up on the recommendations, I thought my performances were enough. Every time we think a good performance will bring up some appreciation, the government ignores us. And yet, they expect us to win medals. Hockey is a tough game and without motivation there can be no results. If women’s hockey is considered so useless when it comes to recognition, I don’t think anyone can demand miracles from us on field,” she said.
Captain Ritu Rani, on the other hand, has been the fulcrum of the team for almost a decade. Belonging to the nursery of Shahbad in Haryana — same as Rani — Ritu is the team’s midfield marshal who controls the game and finds those gaps that make it easy to score. Ritu has been knocking on the doors of the Awards committee for quite a few years now but with the upcoming year most likely to be her last on the international circuit, this might well have been her last missed chance.
According to sources, Ritu was initially named in the shortlist of 17 awardees before weightlifter Satish Sivalingam was included. That made it a toss-up between Ritu and women’s kabaddi player Abhilasha Mhatre, with the latter getting the nod for the Asiad gold.
Other women in the list of recommendations included senior player Asunta Lakra, young forward Vandana Katariya and midfielder Sushila Chanu.
Wrestler questions criteria
Last year’s Commonwealth Games gold medallist and 2013 World championship silver medallist wrestler Amit Kumar was disappointed on being overlooked for the Arjuna Award for the third consecutive year.
“I have been applying for the award for the last three years. Even though two wrestlers (Bajrang and Babita Kumari) were selected this time, sadly I could not make it,” said Amit.
The ace wrestler questioned the logic behind selecting athletes on the basis of gender (the policy of choosing one male, one female if more than one sportsperson were picked in a particular discipline).
“If you take the points system into account, then I had scored more marks than Babita. Sportspersons should be picked on the basis of their performances and not gender,” he said.
Amit said he might file an RTI query to know why he was left out. “I could have moved court, but the World championship is too close and there is hardly any time left to get distracted.
“The Arjuna Award would have motivated me in the World championship next month. Nevertheless, I want to win the gold medal there and make a strong claim for the Khel Ratna Award next year,” he said.
Olympians bite the dust in Mumbai Hockey Association elections
MUMBAI: Olympians Gurbax Singh Grewal, Merwyn Fernandis and Joaquim Carvalho were routed by the ruling group led by Mangha Singh Bakshi who swept all the posts contested for in the tri-annual elections of the Mumbai Hockey Association Limited on Wednesday.
Fighting on the plank of development of the game against a bunch of "businessmen", the players group were blown away by the electors who were clearly not impressed with the promises of a new clubhouse with swimming pool, residential rooms etc. thrown in by Gurbax and company.
Gurbax, who represented the country in the 1968 Mexico Games, mustered a measly 66 votes against sitting president Bakshi who secured 248 votes to retain his post.
Fernandis, a three-time Olympian and member of the last Indian squad that captured gold in the Moscow Games, fared as poorly by securing just 70 votes when contesting for the vice president's post along with another former international, Satinder Walia (63), who too lost from the players' panel.
Those elected as the vice-presidents were Bal Malkit Singh and Gurdip Singh Chandok, by securing 235 and 217 votes respectively.
Carvalho, the most vocal of the players' lot, could get just 83 votes against incumbent secretary Ram Singh Rathor (229 votes), who too retained his post by a big margin. Balgovind Chokhhani also retained his post as treasurer.
Also bit the dust were Olympian Gavin Ferreira and internationals Ramesh Pillay and Raju Bagade all of whom contested for a place in the managing committee and were routed.
Only two former internationals won by contesting from the ruling group.
They were World Cuppers Mir Ranjan Negi (257) and Darryl D'Souza (240), along with two other former players Vernon Lobo (249) and Puran Singh (247), a former Western Railway teammate of Gurbax.
The lone woman candidate contesting from the players' panel, ex-international Neena Rane secured only 72 votes and lost. The new committee will be in place till 2018.
The Times of India
'Balbir Singh Sr Hockey Foundation' launched
MOHALI: 'Balbir Singh Senior Hockey Foundation' was launched on Wednesday with the legendary player himself donating the entire amount of Rs 30 lakh, which he had got from Hockey India this year.
An announcement for setting up of the foundation was made by the legend's grandson Kabir at a function held at International hockey stadium. The foundation has been launched "with specific focus on regaining world supremacy in hockey once again", Kabir said.
The 91-year-old triple Olympic gold medallist presented the first cheque by donating Rs 30 lakh, which he had received from HI in March this year as part of the lifetime achievement award conferred upon him at a function held at Delhi.
Prior to this, a commemorative function was organised at the stadium to mark the 67th anniversary of the event when tricolour was hoisted for the first time on this day in 1948 in London's Wembley stadium after India had defeated England to win the Olympic gold in men's hockey, a win in which Balbir Senior played an instrumental role.
Braving sultry weather conditions on Wednesday, Balbir Sr, wearing a blue blazer and a red tie, climbed up steep stairs of the stadium to hoist the tricolour at the function amid thunderous applause from the crowd that also included budding hockey players.
Besides, Balbir Sr's family and friends, present on the occasion were Chandigarh Hockey Association's senior functionary Yash Pal Vohra, sports sociologist S K Gupta, Punjab Cricket Association's CEO, Brig G S Sandhu (retd) and former India hockey player Madan Mohan Singh.
After unfurling the tricolour, Balbir Sr recalled, "It was a proud moment for all of us when we defeated England, which had until a year ago ruled India for a long period, on their own turf (in 1948).
"I still remember that before the match started, the Wembley stadium was reverberating with the noise of English fans. As we took an early lead and later on pumped another goal, after the half time some English fans started rooting for India, saying make it half a dozen (score 6 goals)," he remembered.
Balbir Sr said that August 12, 1948 was "greatest day in independent India's sporting history" and should be celebrated each year.
"Now I wish that India wins an Olympic gold and we again get a chance to unfurl the flag," the iconic centre forward said, wishing the Indian hockey team good luck for the future.
Notably, in 2012 London Olympics, Sr was honoured as the only Indian among 16 chosen Olympic legends across modern Olympic history.
His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men's hockey final of Olympics still remains unbeaten. Balbir Sr had scored five goals in India's 6-1 victory over The Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Helsinki Games.
The Times of India
MHL bottom sides do battle to notch first win
By Aftar Singh
Tenaga's Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan (left) fights for the ball with UniKL's Meor Muhamad Azuan Hasan during their Malaysia Hockey League match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil last week. - GLENN GUAN/ The STAR
KUALA LUMPUR: It’s the battle of the bottom-dwellers in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) on Thursday.
Sixth-placed Maybank will take on fifth-placed UniKL on Thursday, with both sides desperate for their first win.
The Maybank Tigers, a permanent fixture in the MHL since its inception in 1987, have fallen on hard times. Despite having five Pakistanis and one Indian player, they prop the six-team Premier Division without any points after losing all their three matches to Tenaga Nasional (2-1), Terengganu (5-1) and Sapura (2-1).
Similarly, UniKL are also without a point after three matches. Powered by three foreign and 12 Project 2016 players, UniKL lost to Sapura (2-1), Tenaga (3-2) and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (1-0).
In Thursday’s clash at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Maybank coach S. Velappan is keeping his fingers crossed of a first win.
And cutting down the unforced errors will be key.
Velappan said: “Our ball possession was poor and we failed to penetrate the opponents’ semi-circle. Our penalty corner execution rate was also bad.
“We earned eight penalty corners in the three matches, but only managed to score just once against Tenaga.
“The three losses have affected the players’ confidence. But I believe we have a good chance of breaking the duck against UniKL,” added Velappan, won’t be fielding forward Mohd Amerullah Abdul Aziz due to a knee injury.
UniKL coach S. Arulselvaraj said his team were not affected by the defeats.
“We are in high spirits. We had good ball control in all the matches, but we must reduce the silly errors,” said Arulselvaraj.
Last season, Maybank finished last without a win in 10 matches in the Premier Division while UniKL were placed fourth.
The Star of Malaysia
The Hockey Insider – Fixing SA Hockey’s Problems (Part 2)
The Hockey Insider is a new segment on The Pundits where we focus on the problems facing SA Hockey, coming from INSIDE the camp. A first hand look at where we are falling short and what can be done to sort things out. In this, part 2, we look at some of the solutions that The Hockey Insider have put forward and suggested we take a look at. For background info, make sure you read part 1 – click here
So what do we need to change to get SA Hockey back on track?
Well, for starters, we need to think big. Of course we are still looking for sponsors but until we change our mindset from maintaining to achieving, who really wants to be involved? I know I don’t. I want to be a part of something that’s exciting, something that no one has done before with South African hockey. Did you know we have never finished in the top 10 at a World Cup or Olympic Games? Why don’t we make that goal number one? Who cares if other people think it’s unattainable, better a goal that is harder to reach than a goal which doesn’t inspire anyone.
Instead of being frustrated with the players, why don’t we give them a platform to be heard so we can work together? What about instead of waiting for teams to come to South Africa in December during the European winter, we are proactive and arrange a series ourselves and invite the teams we want to play against? Then we can make a program and send it out to the players and if they need to put some money towards it or stay at a friend’s house, they have time to arrange it well in advance.
Why don’t we ask for help?
Why don’t we go public and ask for a fitness coordinator for example, if he or she could put together a fitness program and be a part of our team, which is building towards the 2018 World Cup and Commonwealth Games? I think we can find someone like that who will do it for a passionate group of guys who can’t afford to pay them but in return can offer them trips to the World Cup and a great chance to have experience at the top level. Could we do the same with a manager? Like my mother always said, the worst they could say is no.
Hockey in South Africa in general is at an all time high. Participation is on the up, more astro’s are being laid than ever before and there are tons of quality hockey opportunities for kids which never existed in my day. So what kind of legacy are we leaving for the next generation of players who are going to be far more technically skilled than I was growing up on grass?
When I retire I want to leave the SA Hockey Men’s team in a better way than when I found it, but I can’t do it alone. I want to know the years of enjoyment I’ve got out of representing my country and all the hard work I’ve put into this team will be available to the next generation. If we continue at this rate our Men’s team will miss out on more Olympics Games, World Cups and Commonwealth Games. That would be a travesty for a country, which breeds talented sportsmen and women.
South African Hockey Association, we are looking to you to lead us, set your goals high and we, the players, will follow!
International Youth Day: Hockey heroes inspiring the next generation
FIH celebrates International Youth Day by looking at inspirational projects around the world
Role models are everywhere in hockey. Whether we admire the inspirational Marsha Cox leading the way as the most capped team player – male or female – in South Africa or look towards the super skilled Jamie Dwyer in the green and gold of Australia, we can all recognise a hero on the hockey field.
It’s players like these that first attracts and engages the hockey stars of the future but, behind the scenes, it is often someone with less visual profile who proves to be the inspiration that fuels a life-long love of hockey.
Today, on the United Nations International Youth Day, FIH looks at some of those people who are making their mark on young people’s lives around the world.
Three young umpires are leading the way when it comes to inspiring the next generation. “As a class each year, we often explore the countries I am about to visit.” says FIH umpire Kylie Seymour from Australia, who teaches a class of eight and nine year olds in Sydney.
She continued: “Most of my students haven't been out of Sydney, let alone our state, so they are always fascinated by what is going on around the world. This year, while looking at the concept of families in a variety of different cultures, we wrote letters to my hockey umpiring contacts all around the world. The students were super excited to receive letters, emails, pictures and videos back.”
“Through my various trips, their exposure in the local media and by sharing my experiences with the school community, the students, teachers and parents have been introduced to our fantastic sport,” she adds.
Sarah Wilson also uses hockey to inspire her students. The former Scottish U21 international has been promoted to the FIH World Development Panel and is likely to be under consideration for nomination to officiate at next year’s Rio Olympic Games.
She teaches physical education in a secondary school in Edinburgh, Scotland and actively encourages her students to get involved in all aspects of sport, not just playing it, but officiating and organising as well.
“I have put a group of my pupils through their Youth Umpiring Award,” she says. “It allows them to gain knowledge of the rules and umpire games at youth level. I get my team to umpire small-sided games in practice and during school time to appreciate the etiquette involved in officiating.”
And Karen Bennett, a primary school teacher from New Zealand, has become a star-turn in the small community of Banks Peninsula. “Parents and kids follow my umpiring on live-stream and the YouTube channel. Hockey has really become the ‘go-to’ sport at lunchtime and people clamour for photos and updates when I get back from a tournament.”
It is not just those at the elite level of competition that play their part in inspiring youth. Across the globe, you will discover projects that have grown out of one person’s love and passion for the sport.
Mark Jarvis has just returned from working in Ghana through the FIH Targeted Assistance Programme (TAP) which aims to raise aspirations and confidence levels through hockey.
That particular TAP is a collaboration between FIH, UK Sport, England Hockey and the African Hockey Federation, but the people directly involved are a coach, coach educator and umpire educator who are combining their passion for the game with a desire to make a big change in the West African country.
“I am working primarily as a coach alongside Darren Cheeseman and Siegfried Aikman, although I also work as an umpire coach, training both adult and junior coaches,” says Jarvis, a former British Royal Air Force serviceman who now teaches in Cambridgeshire, England.
“We have been running training sessions and umpire courses for kids aged between 10 and 16 from the local schools in Accra, plus kids from Kumasi, (the capital city of the Ashanti, a semi-island exclave in the rain forest).”
The visits to Accra and Kumasi saw more than 150 children in total benefit from the work of Jarvis and his fellow coaches.
And these are not isolated cases, far from it. Across the world, players and former players at all levels, coaches and umpires are getting involved in activities that seek to improve and educate members of the local community, using hockey as the vehicle for inspiration.
For more information about the United Nations International Youth Day, visit: http://www.un.org/youthenvoy
Lautoka hockey targets end to six-year jinx
THE Lautoka hockey team will be aiming to break a six-year winless drought when it participates in the Fiji Inter-District Championship next week.
Lautoka will host the annual event at the Nadovu hockey ground.
A few senior players will be making a comeback for the Lautoka men's team. They include the Coffin brothers Ernest and Martin and the Wedlock brothers Hamlet and Koroi.
Lautoka Hockey Association executive Fergus Underwood said training started yesterday.
Underwood said Suva the defending champions would be very strong with the inclusion of national reps, who participated at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea.
"We successfully bid to host the tournament," Underwood said.
"As hosts we are confident of a good outing though we have not won the title for a long time. A few of the senior reps are returning to boost the team."
Meanwhile, the Fiji Secondary Schools Hockey Championship will start in Lautoka tomorrow.
The Fiji Times
Help find Anna’s sticks
Anna Flanagan’s World Cup and Comm Games sticks stolen
Hockeyroo Anna Flanagan has had her hockey gear stolen out of teammate Georgie Parker’s car in Perth on Monday.
The thief not only stole Anna’s playing and training gear along with some personal items, they also took her 2014 World Cup and 2014 Commonwealth Games playing sticks, which have sentimental value to the 23-year-old who won silver and gold medals with them.
Anna was lucky enough to retrieve her shin-pads, shoes and some clothes after a shop worker located them in a nearby park and contacted Anna via Facebook after seeing her post on social media. Anna’s sticks – a Grays AF9 black and Grays AF9 blue - are still missing.
“I’m upset that my sticks have been stolen, they mean a lot to me. I don’t understand why someone would break a window just to steal my hockey gear and leave my wallet behind. I’m hoping someone has either seen or heard something about this and fingers crossed I can get the two sticks returned to me,” Anna said.
The robbery has been filed with a local Perth police station and a police report has been completed.
If you have seen or heard anything about Anna’s stolen sticks, please contact Anna Flanagan via her Facebook page here or contact local police at Scarborough Police Station on (08) 9441 6400.
Update: Anna’s Commonwealth Games (Grays AF9 blue) stick was found by a member of the Perth community on Thursday 13 August at midday. Her World Cup (Grays AF9 black) stick is still currently missing.
Hockey Australia media release
Perth Hockeyroo Anna Flanagan has sticks, hockey gear stolen
Anna Flanagan is still searching for her two stolen signature hockey sticks. Photo: Ben Rushton
When a thief broke into Anna Flanagan's car this week, they didn't pinch her wallet or watch - the culprit made off with two hockey sticks and a bag full of "smelly" training gear.
"It happened [on Monday] and the front of my window was smashed in and they've taken my hockey bag which has my hockey sticks, my shin pads, shoes, stuff like that," the champion hockey player told 6PR's Perth Tonight program.
"I put the word out on social media and about a day later a lady found my bag scattered in a park nearby in Doubleview.
"It had my shin pads and shoes and watch in it, it also had a script in it with my name on it. She worked at a chemist and was a hockey fan and so she was able to track my address down through there."
While the Olympian and dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist said she was "so thankful" to the woman who went the extra mile to return her items, there was still no sign of the two hockey sticks which were in the bag.
She said the sticks weren't particularly valuable in a financial sense, but meant a lot to her.
"They're a sentimental thing for me because it was not only my World Cup stick but also my [Commonwealth Games] stick as well," she said.
"They're my signature sticks, they have my name on them, so it would be pretty obvious if someone walked onto the field with them.
"It is quite bizarre and it does mean a lot to me... it's such a low act because it has no value to another person other than myself."
Anyone with information about the hockey sticks is urged to contact police, or can contact Ms Flanagan via social media.
Nelson hockey stalwart Mark Wilkens leaves behind an impressive legacy
Nelson hockey stalwart Mark Wilkens left behind a sizeable legacy. PATRICK HAMILTON/FAIRFAX NZ
Nelson hockey stalwart Mark Wilkens had the enviable quality of being able to celebrate both success and failure in equal measure.
Well almost - and he wasn't a half bad player either.
The sudden recent death of Mark "Wilkie" Wilkens, aged just 55, has sent shock waves through the Nelson hockey community although in passing, he's also left behind a considerable legacy of success at both club and representative level.
A diehard Federal club man, Wilkie's involvement extended well beyond the playing arena to coaching, umpiring and adminstration. But it was in Federal's familiar red strip that many of his most memorable achievements occurred.
Most notable perhaps were the 28 club championship titles he collected over a long and celebrated career, which also included 278 games for the Nelson senior men's representative team. Wilken's representative involvement coincided with a golden period for Nelson when they were regularly ranked among the country's top six men's provincial sides.
More recently, Wilkens became a core member of Nelson Masters teams. In total, he finished with seven national titles in various age groups and won selection in New Zealand men's 45, 50 and 55 teams to compete at both the Masters World Cup and trans-Tasman test series against Australia. At this year's trans-Tasman series in Melbourne, he was captain of the men's 55 team.
Wilkens' initial coaching Involvement was with the Federal men's and women's premier club sides before also taking charge of the Nelson senior representative men's team. More recently he'd been involved in coaching junior club sides.
Not suprisingly, Wilkens was on the Federal club committee and Nelson Men's Hockey Associaiton committee prior to its amalgamation with the women's association in the late 1980s, when he was also made a life member of the Federal club.
Outside of hockey, Wilkens' interest extended to a life-long love of music - he actually played bass with some of hockey mates in a garage band known simply as `The Federal Band'. He was an avid horse racing fan and also played competitive lower grade cricket.
Wilken's long-time friend, team-mate and Nelson's regional hockey development manager Craig Brett said that the entire Nelson hockey community has been affected by Wilkens' death.
"I have so many fond memories, as I'm sure everyone else does, his passing has had a huge impact on the hockey fraternity, not only Federal but all the clubs and colleges," Brett said.
"The support and thoughts from so many players and supporters from within the Nelson hockey community has been overwhelming. The texts, emails and phone calls in the hundreds that have come in from outside Nelson are also testament that it wasn't just our own community that has been shocked by Wilkie's death and that he was loved and respected by so many."