All the news for Sunday 31 January 2016
Hat trick win for Ranchi Rays
Ranchi: Defending Champions Ranchi Rays displayed spectacular hockey to register their hat trick win on home turf. The hosts came from behind to defeat Jaypee Punjab Warriors 5-4 in the 12th match of the 4th Coal India Hockey India League at the Astro Turf Hockey Stadium, Ranchi.The win in the match will ensure the Defending Champions stay at the top of the points table with 21 points to their kitty.
The first half of the match started with attacking intent from both the teams. The initial minutes of the game saw an aggressive play from the Jaypee Punjab Warriors which was rewarded with a goal in the 7th minute from young forward Armaan Qureshi taking the score to 0-2 in favour of the visiting team.
The hosts replied back in the 18th minute scoring a much needed equalizer through a field goal from defender Kothajit Singh. Ranchi Rays continued their pressing game and within 10 minutes they scored again through Daniel Beale taking the lead in the game with a score of 4-2. The ending moments of the first half saw many more circle penetrations by both the teams but the goalkeepers kept the attackers at bay. The first half ended with the score at 4-2 in favour of Ranchi Rays.
The third period started with a burst of attack from the Jaypee Punjab Warriors. One minute into the half Punjab scored a goal through Satbir Singh to equalize the score at 4-4. Ranchi Rays team didn't hold back and pressed harder and were rewarded adequately with a penalty corner in the 43rd minute which was successfully converted by drag flicker Sandeep Singh giving the home team a much needed lead of 5-4 in the game.
The fourth quarter saw an attacking game at both ends, but a strong defense line ensured none of the attempts materialized for either sides. The Ranchi Rays held strong and the match ended with a win for the hosts by a score of 5-4.
Man of the Match award of INR 50,000 - Kothajit Singh from Ranchi Rays
Coal India 'Goal of the Match' of INR 50,000 Daniel Beale from Ranchi Rays
Hero Emerging Player of the Match Award of INR 25,000 - Armaan Qureshi from Jaypee Punjab Warriors Most Entertaining Player of the Match - Imran Khan from Ranchi Rays
The next match of the 4th edition of the Coal India Hockey India League will be played between Dabang Mumbai and Kalinga Lancers on 31st January at Mahindra Stadium in Mumbai.
Sandeep saves the day for Rays
Amitabha Das Sharma
Ranchi Rays' Sandeep Singh scores the winning goal against Punjab Warriors during the Hockey India League match at Ranchi on Saturday. Photo: Manob Chowdhury
With this win, the Ranchi-based side have secured 21 points from five matches, five points clear of second-placed Delhi Waveriders (16 points).
Sandeep Singh made his brief appearance count as he converted a penalty corner to help host Ranchi Rays top a formidable Jaypee Punjab Warriors 5-4 in a keenly contested Coal India HIL fixture at the Morabadi Astroturf Stadium here on Saturday.
Sandeepcame in for the captain Ashley Jackson as the host earned back-to-back penalty corners in the third quarter of the action. Sandeep, who has not been tried much by Rays so far in the tournament, proved a point with an acrobatic finish.
His first effort was saved by the Warriors’ Australian goalkeeper Tristan Clemons but Sandeep changed the direction of his next drag-flick to catch the visiting defence off guard.
Earlier, the Warriors made a good start and put the host under pressure with incisive moves down the flanks. Armaan Qureshi made the most of the initial dominance and scored the opener in the seventh minute. The young India international foxed a host of Rays’ defenders and dribbled clear of the opposition goalkeeper Tyler Lovell before finishing with a fine half-volley.
The second quarter had the Rays showing greater resolve and their better organised midfield checked the free run of the opponents. Amir Khan had the first opportunity of levelling scores but his attempt was not sharp enough to beat Clemons.
Kothajit Singh, the versatile defender, made a fine overlap in the next minute and his sharp drive from the left flank went home hitting the stick of Australian midfielder Mark Gleghorne. The host doubled the lead in the 28th when a fine combination between Australians Timothy Deavin and Daniel Beale saw the latter finding the target (4-2).
The visitors doubled the aggression after the change of ends and found the equaliser in the first minute of the third quarter when Satbir Singh sent home a rebound after the Rays’ custodian Lovell failed to clear a powerful cross from Simon Orchard. With the scores level (4-4) both sides went for the winner and it was finally Sandeep who made the difference.
With four successive wins Rays tally is now 21 points from five matches while Warriors have 12 from their five outings.
The result: Ranchi Rays 5 (Kothajit Singh 2FC, Daniel Beale 2FG, Sandeep Singh) bt Jaypee Punjab Warriors 4 (Armaan Qureshi 2FG, Satbir Singh 2FG).
Forgotten Indian star Sandeep Singh punishes his former team Punjab Warriors as Ranchi Rays go top
Ranchi Rays celebrate their first goal on Saturday (HIL photo)
Sandeep, who has been sidelined from the national team after 2012 London Olympics sent his drag-flick crashing into the Warriors goal in the 43rd minute.
Former India captain Sandeep Singh struck the winning goal from a penalty corner as defending champions Ranchi Rays rallied to beat Jaypee Punjab Warriors 5-4 in a pulsating match and jump to the top position in the Hockey India League at Ranchi on Saturday.
Sandeep, who has been sidelined from the national team after 2012 London Olympics sent his drag-flick crashing into the Warriors goal in the 43rd minute after both sides were locked in a stalemate deep into third quarter to give his side the fourth win in five matches.
The Warriors, the last edition runners-up, led 2-0 at the end of the first quarter through a field goal from Armaan Qureshi in the seventh minute before the home side took a 4-2 lead in the second quarter through field strikes from Kothajit Singh (18th) and Daniel Beale (28th).The visiting side restored parity in the 31st minute with Satbir Singh scoring a field goal, which is counted as two under new tournament rules.
On an even keel just a minute into the second half, there was little to separate between the two sides who played against each other in the summit clash of the last edition, as both pressed for goals and sought dominance. Ranchi Rays, however, had the last laugh as ace drag-flicker Sandeep scored the winner, his first goal of the tournament, from the penalty corner to the jubilation of the home crowd.
The Lowdown: Men’s Super 6s Semi Finalists
East Grinstead captain Simon Faulkner during half time
With East Grinstead aiming to continue their dominance of England Hockey's indoor competition and with Canterbury, Sevenoaks and Reading back in the semi-finals and more determined than ever to stop them, this weekend's Super 6s are shaping up very nicely for a spectacular occasion for players and spectators alike. Here's a rundown of how the teams got this far and how they think they'll do:
Team: East Grinstead
League position 2015/16: 1st
Top goal scorer: Ben Allberry (15 goals)
Route to the final: Played 8, won 7, drew 1, lost 0, scored 55.
Simon Faulkner, East Grinstead Captain:
“It’s great to make it to Wembley again. We have a lot of pedigree in the indoor game and we’re really looking forward to the day and hopefully carrying on our great record and getting our eighth in a row.”
League position 2015/16: 2nd
Top goal scorer: Andy Watts (14 goals)
Route to the final: Played 8, won 7, drew 0, lost 1, scored 48.
Chris Newman, Reading Captain:
“It’s really exciting to qualify again. It’s been a case of always the bridesmaid never the bride, we haven’t managed to win it recently. For us we know how difficult this competition is to win we know we’re still got a job to do. With the group we’ve got we know we have a good chance.”
Reading receive their instructions
League position 2015/16: 3rd
Top goal scorer: Harry Jawanda (16 goals)
Route to the final: Won 6, drew 0, lost 2, scored 63.
Tom Richford, Canterbury Captain:
“We’re really happy to be at Wembley for the fourth year running. Each year we’ve made steps forward and with that in mind we think we can go one step further. We got to the final the last two years and came second so we’re thinking this year could be our year to go all the way.”
Canterbury Captain Tom Richford celebrates
League position 2015/16: 4th
Top goal scorer: George Torry (14 goals)
Route to the final: Played 8, won 4, drew 2, lost 2, scored 40.
Nick Barker, Sevenoaks Captain:
“Following last year, missing out on the last second to Canterbury we’ve shaken things up a bit with some new players so to come back for another consecutive year is a great achievement and hopefully we’ll do better this year.”
Sevenoaks' George Torry wheels away in celebration
England Hockey Board Media release
The Lowdown: Women’s Super 6s Semi-Finalists
Sally Walton takes on Becky Duggan in the indoor finals
Bowdon Hightown and East Grinstead played out a thrilling final in last year's indoor competition and this year, they will face off in the semi-final with the winner battling the winner of Canterbury vs. University of Birmingham. Can the Students teach their opponents a lesson? Will Hightown retain their title? Will East Grinstead emulate their men's team? Will Canterbury make it third time lucky? We don't have to wait long to find out, but in the meantime, find out how the teams got here and what they think of their chances.
League position 2015/16: 1st
Top goal scorer: Anna Kolarova (11 goals)
Route to the final: Played 8, won 7, drew 1, lost 0, scored 28.
Grace Balsdon, Canterbury Captain:
“It’s a fantastic achievement for us to make it to Wembley. I went last year to watch the men and it was an incredible experience, we’re very excited.
We’ve been very consistent. We have a good defence and have been very disciplined, if things go our way on the day, then we rate our chances very highly.”
Canterbury defend a penalty corner
Team: East Grinstead
League position 2015/16: 2nd
Top goal scorer: Emma Lee-Smith (12 goals)
Route to the final: Played 8, won 6, drew 1, lost 1, scored 37.
Joanna Davis, East Grinstead Captain:
“It’s a great feeling to get to Wembley. it’s exciting and it’ll be exciting if we win it. We’re at the stage where we are confident in ourselves. Our excitement has switched to determination. Why play at this level and not want to win it? We rate our chances highly. We showed we can play against anyone and score goals against anyone so we’re very confident.”
EG team talk
Team: Bowdon Hightown
League position 2015/16: 3rd
Top goal scorer: Sally Walton [20 goals].
Route to the final: Played 8, won 4, drew 2, lost 2, scored 42.
Michelle Liptrot, Bowdon Hightown Captain:
“Wembley is really important to us. We’re ecstatic to make it back there this year. We’re really looking forward to it. We have a good mixture of experience and youth. We’ve been there before and it’s a big day so our experience of the day will help. We don’t underestimate anyone but we are confident in our own abilities.”
Tina Cullen celebrates scoring in Hockey 5s final 2015
Team: University of Birmingham
League position 2015/16: 4th
Top goal scorer: Erica Sanders [10 goals]
Route to the final: Played 8, won 4, drew 0, lost 4, scored 28.
Tina Evans, University of Birmingham Captain:
“We’re excited. It’s the first time we’ve made it this far. We’re looking forward to enjoying the atmosphere and enjoying the experience. It’ll be new to us but we’re learning all the time and hopefully we can surprise people on the day.”
University of Birmingham huddle
England Hockey Board Media release
Bay Club stun JKUAT as UoN, Daystar share spoils
By BRIAN YONGA
Bay Club's Edwin Ogada (left) challenges Shadrack Wanini of JKUAT during their Kenya Hockey Union National men's league match at City Park Stadium on January 30, 2016. PHOTO | MARTIN MUKANGU |
Visitors Bay Club upset Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) 1-0 in Kenya Hockey Union men’s national league match at the City Park Stadium on Saturday.
Gilbert Rowlands' 15th minute field goal gave the lakeside team the three vital points in the second tier encounter.
In another men’s national league match, 10-man University of Nairobi (UON) held Daystar Falcons to a 1-1 draw at the same venue.
Bay coach Tom Bello said his team’s chances of returning to the top-flight are high following another impressive display.
“Our target is to avoid defeat in Nairobi this weekend and today’s (Saturday) result was fully deserved,” Bello told Sunday Nation Sport.
“We fought and defended well against an equally good side and took the chance when it came our way.”
JKUAT had their chances but were let down by poor finishing and it was the visitors who had a chance to add to their tally at the end but Rowlands shot was saved by JKUAT keeper Alex Muge.
Emmanuel Simiyu gave the UoN the lead in the 14th minute with a brilliant field goal but Falcons equalised in the second half through Conrad Mandela to share the spoils in the university derby.
Falcons coach Moses Kagochi was disappointed his team failed to use their numerical advantage and call for an improved performance in their next outing. UoN took a shock lead in the 11th minute when skipper John Kaluti set up Simiyu who beat Falcons keeper Allan Otsembo with a first time shot.
The goal stunned Falcons who until then had enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but created very little in terms of chances. They piled forward in search of the equaliser but missed three glorious chances to score. First, striker Kevin Waresa’s 20th minute strike following a short corner was well saved by UoN keeper Jeremiah Okoka before the keeper pulled a double save five minutes later to deny Weresa again and Derrick Wamatu as UON went into the break with the slim lead.
Falcons continued to ask questions of the UoN defence in the second half and were finally rewarded when Mandela finished off a Collins Madegwa penalty corner to level the score.
Buoyed by the equaliser, Falcons went in search of the winning goal that would give them all three points.
On Sunday, champions Telkom Orange take on archrivals Strathmore Scorpions in a mouth-watering women’s national league match at City Park.
MJHL: SSP-MSP Thunderbolts bounce back..
By Jugjet Singh
PAHANG Sports School (SSP-MSP Thunderbolts) bounced back in style when they hammered Petaling Jaya City Concil 4-1 in Division One of the Junior Hockey League yesterday.
The win came at the back of a 2-3 defeat to UniKL Young Guns on Friday, with the heart-break being scored at the final minute of the match.
And if SSP-MSP Thunderbolts maintain their fine run, they have a good chance of finishing at least second in the League.
In another Division One match, Olak Tigers beat SSTMI Jnrs 2-0 with goals from Adhwa Jalil (29th) and S. Kavinash (30th).
Yesterday, SSP-MSP Thunderbolts took a 2-0 lead off Idris Samad in the 4th and 17th minutes, before PJCC pulled one back off Faiq Razin in the 30th.
But after the break SSP-MSP Thunderbolts killed off the fight with a brace from Kamil Yusop in the 40th and 53rd minutes.
"My players were really motivated to win this match after losing our grip against UniKL at the last minute Friday. With this win, we have a good chance of finishing among the top-three this season," said SSP-MSP Thunderbolts coach Sufian Mohamed.
There will be a two-weeks rest before the Pahang team takes on SMKDBL Young Guns.
"The two-week rest also played a psychological role in our win today (yesterday) because my players went all out knowing that they have a long period to recover after this match. We will take a few days off hockey, before preparations start for the next four games," said Sufian.
RESULTS -- Division One: Olak Tigers 2 SSTMI Jnrs 0, PJCC 1 SSP-MSP Thunderbolts 4.
Division Two: Group A -- Kedah Jnrs 1 Penang MSSPP-USM 6, Azlan Shah Science 0 Perlis Young Lions Jnrs 7; Group B: Felda Jnrs 0 BJSS Jnrs 1, MISCF-UFL 1 Anderson PHA 3; Group C: Science Johor 1 Datuk Taha 5.
TODAY: Division One: BJSS Thunderbolts v SMKDBL Young Guns (National Stadium I), UniKL Young Guns v SSTMI Jnrs (National Stadium II).
Division Two: Group A: Perlis Young Lions Jnrs v MCKK (Kuala Perlis), Azlan Shah Science v Kedah Jnrs (Kuala Kangsar), Matri v MSS Kedah (kangar); Group B: MSSWPKL v Anderson PHA (Ministry Education), MISCF-UFL v Anderson Thunderbolts (KLHA); Group C: MSNT-PHT v TBSS Tampin (Padang Midin), Pahang Hockey Academy v Malacca High (Temerloh).
Note: All matches at 5pm.
P W D L F A Pts
SSTMI TNDER' 5 5 0 0 26 4 15
SSP-MSP-TNDER' 5 4 0 1 28 7 12
UNIKL YOUNG GUNS 5 3 0 2 12 13 9
OLAK TIGERS 6 3 0 3 14 19 9
POLITEKNIK 5 2 1 2 9 8 7
BJSS TNDER' 3 2 0 1 9 4 6
PJCC 5 2 0 3 7 11 6
SMKDBL YOUNG GUNS 5 1 1 3 9 14 4
NURINSAFI 5 0 2 3 6 21 2
SSTMI JRS 4 0 0 4 3 22 0
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Pahang Sports School back on track in junior hockey league
by S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: Pahang Sports School-MSP-Thunderbolt are back to winning ways in Division One of the TNB Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
The Pahang team, who lost 3-2 to UniKL on Friday for their first defeat of the season, beat Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) 4-1 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.
The win ensured they stay in second spot in the standings with 12 points – three points behind leaders SSTMI-Thunderbolt.
Pahang Sports School team manager Wan Mazlan Isa, however, feels that their finishing could have been better.
“Winning the three points was crucial to stay in the title race. They played to instructions, but there is room for improvement. SSTMI are very strong and we have yet to play them,” he said.
Mohd Idris Samad scored the Pahang side’s opening two goals from penalty corners in the fourth and 17th minutes. Mohd Kamal Yusof added the other two goals in the 40th and 53rd minutes.
The Pahang side will play SSTMI on Feb 19.
“We have two matches to play before the SSTMI tie. We meet SMK Datuk Bentara Luar on Feb 14 and Olak on Feb 17. If we get through this two matches, then our game against SSTMI will be the title decider,” said Wan Mazlan.
For MBPJ, the defeat has severely dented their hopes of fourth placing. They are now seventh with four more matches to go.
In another Division One match, Olak Tigers won their third game – defeating lowly SSTMI Juniors 2-0 at the Tun Razak Stadium – to move into fourth place with nine points.
They scored their goals in a one-minute spell from two penalty corner setpiece moves through Mohd Adwa Jalil (19th) and T. Kavinesh Panicker.
Olak, Pahang Sports School and MBPJ will have a two-week break while SSTMI Juniors will play UniKL on Sunday.
The Star of Malaysia
Parnham Continues to Develop Depth to USWNT Roster by Naming Six New Athletes
LANCASTER, Pa. – Following the U.S. Women’s National Team Trials held in early January, Head Coach Craig Parnham and his staff welcome six, well-deserving individuals the opportunity to represent the United States at the senior level of play. Anna Dessoye, Casey Di Nardo, Amanda Dinunzio, Jess Jecko, Alyssa Parker and Taylor West will participate in the USWNT’s centralized training program full-time at the Home of Hockey at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County, Pa. The six athletes will join Team USA when training resumes in September following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“Each of the players demonstrated some excellent qualities throughout the trial,” said Parnham. “The trial is designed to identify strengths across a range of attributes. The selected players were able to display their proficiency during the trial and now have the opportunity to continue to grow and develop as part of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s central program as it builds toward the 2017 Pan American Cup in Lancaster.”
Hometown: Mountain Top, Pa.
College: University of Maryland
Previous accomplishments: Dessoye was first named to the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team roster in 2013 and contended in the Junior World Cup in Germany. Other accolades include NFHCA All-American (2015), NFHCA All-Mid Atlantic Region Team (Second - 2013; First - 2014, 2015) and All-Big Ten Team (Second - 2014; First - 2015).
"I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to be a member of the U.S. Women's National Team," said Dessoye. "Competing with this team is an amazing honor and has always been a dream of mine. I'm excited to get to work."
Casey Di Nardo
Hometown: Virginia Beach, Va.
College: University of North Carolina
Previous accomplishments: Di Nardo returns to Team USA after being initially named to the senior squad as a transitional athlete in 2014. Prior to this achievement, she was a member of the U.S. U-19 Women’s National Team in 2012. Di Nardo competed in Futures Elite (2007-2012) as well as the Junior Olympics in (2006-2010). She was also on the winning team at the Women’s National Championship. (2014).
"I have dreamed about joining Team USA for a long time," said Di Nardo. "I looked up to the players because they are the best. It made me feel extremely proud to have the opportunity to wear the red, white and blue. Achieving this goal was exciting and I thought about all the dedicated people, especially my family, that helped me succeed and gave me encouragement and support along the way. The journey was challenging with a lot of training and preparation, but the sacrifices were worth it because it was rewarding on a personal level. I feel fortunate to be playing a sport I love so much. There is no where else I would rather be and I will make every effort to challenge myself and continue the dream."
Hometown: State College, Pa.
College: Penn State University
Previous accomplishments: Dinunzio was named to the NFHCA Division I All-Mideast Region First Team (2014) as well as the Academic All-Big Ten (2012 and 2013) and the NFHCA National Academic Squad (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014). As a senior, she earned Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-Mideast Region first team honors (2014).
"When I got the news from Craig, I couldn’t believe it," said Dinunzio. "The feeling is indescribable; it’s what I’ve been working towards almost my whole life. It is such an incredible honor to be able to represent the USA. I’m so grateful to be able to play alongside these amazing women and to compete at the highest level. To get to this point took a lot sacrifice and discipline. Becoming the best player I can be has been a priority throughout my life, and to see it all paying off is a dream come true. I am so thankful for the many people that helped me get to this point. I couldn’t have done it without them."
Hometown: Clinton, N.Y.
College: Syracuse University
Previous accomplishments: Jecko was awarded with Longstreth/NFHCA All-Mideast Region Second Team (2013) and All ACC Second Team honors (2015). In her senior year, Jecko played a pivotal role in securing Syracuse’s first ever NCAA Championship Title in program history with big performances in cage including five saves over the University of North Carolina in the final.
"When I received the news that I was invited to join the team I was ecstatic for the incredible opportunity I’ve been given," said Jecko. "To be able to represent the United States is a dream come true. It would not have been possible without my team, coaches, family, and everyone else who helped me throughout my journey."
Hometown: Woodbine, Md.
College: University of Maryland
Previous accomplishments: Parker won gold at the AAU Junior Olympics and continued to excel in hockey when she joined the U.S. U-19 Women’s National Team in 2011. Parker was then named to the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team (2014). She was also recognized with the NFHCA All-Region Second Team (2014 and 2015) and the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (2014).
"When I initially got the invite from Craig, I called my mom," said Parker. "I really couldn’t believe it. Knowing that I get to continue playing the sport I love is just surreal and knowing that my future job is to be a full-time athlete, that’s the dream. In addition to having amazing teammates, my coaches, Missy, Dina, and Joppe have really provided a great support system these last 4 years. Their guidance pushed and encouraged me to continue to improve and learn everyday. I also owe a lot to my high school coaches who convinced me to play field hockey instead of soccer."
Hometown: Princess Anne, Md.
College: James Madison University
Previous accomplishments: West received honors such as NFHCA All-American Second Team (2015), CAA Player of the Year (2015) and All-CAA First Team (2015). Before JMU, West was previously three-time member of USA Field Hockey’s Futures Elite and named to the U.S. U-19 Women’s National Team.
"I’m not sure that there are words to describe the excitement I had when I received the e-mail to join the team," said West. "It is an honor to be amongst such an elite group of athletes and a dream come true to represent the USA! I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to play with and against the best players in the world! Throughout my career, I have had the best support system of family, friends, coaches and teammates that have helped me achieve this dream. To reach this point has taken dedication, countless hours of training on and off the field, as well as a love and passion for the game!"
USFHA media release
T&T Junior hockey women in tricky Pan Am group
This country’s junior (Under-21) women’s hockey team has been drawn in a very tricky group for the upcoming Junior Women’s Pan American Championship which will be contested at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua from Wednesday March 30 to Sunday April 10.
Host T&T which will be coached by former senior men’s standout Brian Garcia will compete in Pool B alongside, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, USA and Venezuela while defending champions and top ranked Argentina, Barbados, Chile, Guyana and Uruguay are in Pool A.
The 11 teams will compete in two round-robin groups, one of six teams and the other of five, at the end of which the top four teams in each will advance to the main draw quarterfinals onto the finals, where the top two finishers earn berths to the next Junior Women’s World Cup to be played in Chile (November 23 to December 4, 2016).
The local women's team will open its campaign against Mexico on Wednesday March 30 from 6pm in the opening day's fifth and final match, before facing Venezuela (April 1), USA (April 2), Bermuda (April 4), and Canada, a day later in their final pool match ahead of the playoffs.
The first Junior Pan American Championship for women was held in 1988 in Buenos Aires. Argentina has won six of the seven previous competitions, including the last one in 2012 in Guadalajara, Mexico, where they shared the podium with Canada (2nd) and the USA (3rd). The USA were the only other winner of the competition, defeating Chile in the Final in 2008 in Mexico City.
The Trinidad Guardian
Educating the next generation in Morocco
Proving that hockey is a thinking person’s sport, the Moroccan Hockey Federation is working with schools, colleges, clubs and individual coaches to develop an enthusiasm and interest in hockey through both practical and theoretical workshops.
While the Federation is justly proud of its progress in raising participation levels among school children across the north African state, it is also putting a lot of time and resource into teaching young players the history and culture surrounding the sport.
This is the fourth year that the Hockey Federation of Morocco has organised an Open Hockey Day, which not only encompasses pitch-based skills sessions, small sided matches and tactical awareness training, but also retreats to the classroom for a cross-curricular day of hockey teaching.
Pitch dimensions and statistics allow mathematically-minded pupils to shine, while history lovers will relish the opportunity to investigate the origins of the sport, which dates back some 2,000 years ago, and its subsequent development.
Other areas of the curriculum can also relate to hockey. Geography lessons will help the pupils identify the hockey-playing nations around the globe, while science classes will prove a perfect environment for understanding the fitness demands of the sport.
The Hockey Open Day reaches more than 10,000 pupils, ranging in age from seven to 12. It is run on a national scale, providing opportunities for pupils to experience the sport across all the major towns and cities of Morocco.
Explaining more about the day, Kamal Ghallali from the Federation Royale Marocaine de Hockey, says: “The aim is to broaden the reach and ensure the sustainability of hockey. The Federation’s ambition is to continually gather schools into the programme and, through training the teachers, we can create a breeding ground for future hockey players.”
The Hockey Open Day may be the focus for the Federation, but the work continues throughout the year. Teachers will receive training to become competent hockey coaches and there is much work being done to create competitive leagues and school championships. Currently there are 32 clubs in Morocco, playing hockey in three leagues.
The practical coaching sessions are led by high level coaches, some are former national players, others have played club hockey to a good standard.
“Hockey in Morocco is now established in more than 12 cities,” says Ghallali, “We are also working in the rural areas. For example, Tinghir in the south-east is a new hockey project.”
And for the pupils enjoying Hockey Open Day, this was an innovative way to explore all dimensions of a sport through the entire curriculum and create a deeper understanding as a result.
This is yet another project that is helping the International Hockey Federation achieve it's aim of becoming a global game that inspires the next generation. To find out more about the Hockey Revolution, click here.