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News for 23 April 2020

All the news for Thursday 23 April 2020

Lockdown is a chance to better analyse my game, says Simranjeet

“We should certainly utilise the next year to become an even better side. We will ensure that we work harder and produce great results on the field,” says Simranjeet Singh.   -  Special Arrangement

Indian men’s hockey team striker Simranjeet Singh feels the current lockdown presents the players a chance to study their previous matches and better analyse their games.

“It surely is a tough time for all of us. We have to stay positive and hope that the situation resolves soon. I have been mostly watching a lot of videos from our previous matches.

“It has given me a chance to patiently go through the footage and note down key aspects that I need to work on, once we can get back on the pitch,” said the 23-year-old.

RELATED| Using time to introspect on our game: women’s hockey team midfielder Sushila Chanu

Members of the Indian men’s hockey team are at the SAI centre in Bengaluru due to the nationwide lockdown, imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“I miss home and it would have been great to stay with family during this time, but then I wouldn’t have been able to use the facilities here,” said Simranjeet.

With outdoor training not possible during the lockdown, Simranjeet said his focus is on maintaining his fitness.

“It’s wonderful to be staying at the SAI campus at the moment. We are given fitness schedules by our scientific advisor Robin Arkell and all of us carry out exercises in our rooms.

“Maintaining fitness is the key for any sportsperson and therefore we put a lot of emphasis on it,” he said.

He continued that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to next year gives the Indian team to further imrpove.

“It’s disappointing that the Olympics have been postponed to next year. We have been in fantastic rhythm since last year and the team was building up well for the Olympics. But, the well-being of the people is more important than anything else and the best decision has been taken,” he said on Wednesday.

“We should certainly utilise the next year to become an even better side. We will ensure that we work harder and produce great results on the field,” he added.


Manpreet Singh explains five exercises you can perform at home

By Sean Sequeira

© Ali Bharmal | Red Bull Content Pool

The Indian men’s hockey captain lists out a simple workout routine that can be performed with little to no equipment.

Manpreet Singh has been a shining example in Indian hockey for many years now.

The captain of the Indian men’s hockey squad led the team to victory in the FIH Series Finals and the Olympic Qualifiers in 2019.

His efforts were recognized when he was named the 2019 FIH Player of the Year, becoming the first Indian to win the award.

One of his standout qualities has been his fitness and the amount of mileage he gets when on the hockey field.

Continuing to keep his goals high while at home, Manpreet is focussed on maintaining his strength and body weight as per the ideal target given to him by the national camp fitness trainer.

He gets a weekly workout schedule from the trainer which is mostly focussed on maintaining core and lower body strength, and several running sessions.

Manpreet loves that he can work out at home by following his own pace and timing but hates that he doesn’t have the proper equipment. Nevertheless, he has been using several bodyweight exercises to keep his strength at peak levels.

Here are some of Manpreet Singh’s suggested home workouts that anyone can add to their routine.


This is one of the simplest exercises that can be performed on an open floor. The starting position is to support your body on your palms and toes with arms at full extension. Slowly lower your body till your chest is a few inches off the ground with your elbows tucked comfortably into your body. Lift yourself back up to the starting position and repeat. Manpreet says this exercises helps him build his bicep muscles and strength in his arms.


From a standing position, extend one foot behind you and drop your body till your front knee is at a 90-degree angle and back knee is a few inches above the ground but not touching. Lift yourself back up, return to the standing position and repeat with the other leg. Make sure your step back is not extending your body too much; adjust distance according to what is comfortable for you. Manpreet loves this exercise because it helps him maintain strength in his lower body and also to build up his quadriceps.


Manpreet loves crunches because they tighten his abdominal muscles and help build core strength. He performs a standard crunch by laying on the floor with his knees bent and feet planted. From here, he uses his abs to lift his upper body and bring it close to his knees, dropping back slowly again to complete the repetition. Try to keep your feet planted to the ground at all times during this exercise.


Start with a standing position and your fee hip-width apart. You can place your hands at the back of your head or straight out in front of you. Keeping your upper body braced, slowly lower your hips till your knee is about 90 degrees (but not locked). Slowly lift yourself back up and repeat to complete the workout. Manpreet says that he loves these because of the exercises ability to challenge most of the muscles in his body.


This exercise will require a pull-up bar. Chin-ups are performed with your palms towards you while pull-ups are performed with your palms outward. Pull-ups also require a wider grip while chin-ups have your hands positioned in line with your shoulders. For chin-ups, start by holding onto the bar, palms inward and hands right above your shoulder. Allow your body to hang and then using your bicep, shoulder and upper back muscles, pull yourself up until your chin is in line with the bar or over it. Slowly lower yourself down and repeat. Manpreet loves this exercise because it improves his grip strength, his posture and helps strengthen his muscles; all important for the sport of hockey.

Red Bull

PHF looks to host world hockey event

Khalid Hussain

KARACHI: Pakistan’s hockey chiefs are hoping to bring international action back to the country by hosting a world-ranking tournament on home soil sometime in the last quarter of 2020.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) President Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar told ‘The News’ on Wednesday that all out efforts will be made to stage an eight-a-side international tournament in the country later this year. Lahore is likely to be the venue of the tournament.

“We have been in talks with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) regarding the hosting of an international hockey tournament in Pakistan this year,” said Khokhar.

“It’s all in the initial stage but we are hopeful that things will work out,” he added.

“We desperately want to bring international action to the country and must say that the FIH has been very responsive. We hope to work out the details and line up an international tournament this year,” he added.

The idea behind the tournament is having the second-tier hockey-playing nations, who are not part of the 2020 edition of FIH Hockey Pro League, play in a world ranking tournament. The proposed event can feature teams like Canada, Malaysia, France, Ireland, Korea, Japan and Pakistan. They are all among the top-20 nations, who are not part of the FIH Pro League.

“We wanted to stage the tournament in Lahore sometime in September or October,” said Khokhar. “But due to the coronavirus pandemic we might go for a slot in the later part of the year. At the moment we will wait and see how the situation changes in the coming weeks,” he said.

The concept of having an international tournament for second-tier nations came fr­om the FIH and the Pakistanis are keen to host such an ev­ent for the dual reason that it will bring international hoc­key back to the country and will also help the national te­am to get an opportunity to ea­rn vital world ranking po­ints.

A constant slump in form over the years and lack of opportunities to feature in major international tournaments have left Pakistan at a dismal 17th place in the world rankings. That’s a major fall for a country which was once regarded as a superpower in international hockey.

“Our team can needs maximum opportunities to earn world ranking points and an international tournament at home will give them a good chance to take a shot,” said Khokhar.

Pakistan are almost out of all major international tournaments after their failure to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Pakistanis were also unable to feature in the inaugural FIH Pro League last year because of lack of funds and then failed to qualify for this year’s edition. The FIH Hockey Pro League is the annual global League involving hockey’s best national teams in the world. The best team of the season — having accumulated the highest number of points at the end of the league — is crowned champion and receives the FIH Hockey Pro League Trophy. Australia (men) and The Netherlands (women) were the inaugural champions.

The News International

PAHF’s developmental balancing act

Photo credits: Yan Huckendubler/PAHF

Hockey development is about more than just improving the players’ performance. It is about every aspect of the game, and that includes coach education and the education of umpires and tournament officials.

When it comes to developing the sport, every region has its own challenges. Whether it is facilities, knowledge, finances, opportunities - each continental federation seeks to develop its own strategy to overcome barriers and find solutions.

PAHF is a case in point. The continental federation provides for countries whose hockey development ranges from the advanced systems of Argentina, Canada and USA to the newly emerging hockey nations of Haiti and Guatemala. Catering for the differing requirements calls for a strategic balancing act by the continental federation.

Two people who have been deeply involved in hockey development for a number of years within PAHF are Walter Kramer and Roger St Rose.

Kramer sits on the PAHF Board of Directors and is Board Leader for the PAHF Development Panel. He is also President of the Chile Hockey Federation.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Roger St Rose is Chair of the PAHF Umpiring Committee and also sits on the PAHF Education Panel and the FIH Officials Committee. During a lifetime dedicated to hockey he has been an international player, an international hockey umpire and, in March 2019, he was named as a nominee for the prestigious 2019 World Fair Play Awards.

For Kramer, much of his work has been centred on hockey development in Chile, a nation that is very much pushing towards a top 15 world ranking, particularly within the women’s game. But, his work with the PAHF has also given Kramer an unique insight into the continental-wide situation.

“Hockey enjoys various degrees of development across PAHF. There are countries like Argentina, who have been a continuous top five country in both genders. Over time this has brought them huge dividends in terms of government support, media, sponsors and fans. Even more importantly, there are loads of boys and girls in Argentina wanting to play the sport.

“In some of our countries, the lack of suitable infrastructure, such as adequate playing surfaces, is something of a barrier when it comes to opportunities for young kids to play more. There is the lack of financial resources needed to really lure more kids into the sport and offer development at its purest nature – coaching, training, playing.

Talking about Chile’s own experiences, Kramer says the national association has worked hard to spread the game cross the country: “We've grown significantly, not only in terms of new players, but also in terms of geographic scope across the country. We focused on getting funding and sponsorship to support a school system comprising 15 schools that were mainly for low income families.

“These kids quickly discovered and loved the sport: they didn’t want to leave, ever. They have discovered the values we all know about hockey, and found a way to jointly fight for growth and fun, standing side by side with their teammates. That is a powerful feeling.

“It would be terrific if there could be some budget to bring kids who are at an early learning stage to international tournaments so they could feel and live the experience, that would be a total eye opener and inspiration for them.”

While Kramer is focused on player and coach development, Roger St Rose knows the importance of developing umpires and officials to a standard that mirrors that of the players.

“It is important to offer umpires and officials development, training and gradual exposure to games and tournaments, so that their knowledge and understanding of what it takes to operate at the top level is enhanced.”

He adds that there is a fine balance to be had between giving umpires experience and ensuring matches are umpired to the highest standard possible.

“Our [the PAHF umpires panel] first mandate is to populate the PAHF tournaments with experienced, solid umpires who can deliver a quality product,” says St Rose.

“PAHF has developed a Education Panel to work in conjunction with the FIH Academy to further assist in raising the standard of its officials within the continent. This Panel is to be the umbrella body to deal with all educational things be it practical or theoretical in development of our officials.”

Developing umpiring talent across the entire continental federation is a big ask. There are 26 national associations, operating at different levels. St Rose cites the hockey powerhouse of Argentina, with its global influence on the game, comparing it to Haiti, a country in the embryonic stage of development.

“As a result [of this range of development stages],” he says, “the levels of support for umpires in the various countries follows the degree of success that country is achieving at a competitive level.

“Also, some national associations lack a strong competitive domestic structure and there are few opportunities for umpires to follow a development pathway to become a good national umpire.”

There is also the question of funding. Most national associations funnel their limited finances towards players and player support. Umpire development may then have a fight on its hands to access any remaining funding. With barriers in place to development, many young, aspiring umpires are turned off the idea of progressing towards international level – it is simply too hard.

These are all issues that St Rose is setting out to address with the PAHF Executive Board.

“The PAHF Executive Board has mandated its subcommittees to develop processes to deal with identifying, developing and exposing the most promising umpires within the continent. “A number of initiatives have been put in place to support, develop and expose the continent’s promising umpires.”

Among the initiatives are measures such as: ensuring competitive appointments offer an appropriate level of challenge to umpires; channelling financial support to national associations targeted at helping promising umpires to advance; and providing umpire managers to coach and mentor up and coming umpires. 

A major hurdle to the PAHF initiative is the lack of experienced mentors in some countries. This means aspiring umpires often do not, locally, have a guide and support to turn to. This is something that PAHF is addressing by turning to technology. While distance and national borders may present a challenge, there is still the potential for umpire mentors from across the entire continent to talk to and support their lower-level peers – largely through the use of technology such as WhatsApp, Facebook and video technology.

For St Rose, raising the level of umpiring and officiating is essential for the sport’s development as a whole. “It is said that the level of officiating at games can determine the level in which your sport can reach,” he says. “Therefore, bad officiating produces less skilled players. That gives us a very clear mandate – to develop officials who can deliver an international product for the good of the game within our continent.”

FIH site

Wakhura strikes a balance between work and hockey

By Washington Onyango

Engineer Constant Wakhuru of Butali Warriors practices at home. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Constant Wakhura, the Butali Warriors Hockey Club captain in Kenya, is not your usual team leader.

He strives to get the best out of himself in and outside the pitch.

He was confident of leading Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Premier League defending champions Butali Warriors to their third consecutive title this year, but the coronavirus pandemic has other ideas.

He was appointed team captain earlier this year, trusted to fill the shoes of Kenneth Nyongesa, who stepped down after leading the club for six years.

With no time frame as to when sporting activities in Kenya and around the world will resume, Wakhura has decided to turn to his other focus in life; being the engineer he is.

“I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Technology, with a major in Networking. Because there is no hockey due to the coronavirus pandemic, my world now is all about systems engineering,” said the former Strathmore University defender.

The 27-year-old is a systems engineer, a certified Cisco Network Associate in routing and switching and also a certified Siemon installer.

“We offer IT Solutions specialising in enterprise level Server and Network systems integration. We work with our clients to integrate their business processes with technologies that keep them ahead of the competitive curve,” said Wakhura.

“In cisco networking, we deal with routers, switches and access points, while in Siemon installation, it all about structuring and cabling,” he added.

Engineer Constant Wakhuru of Butali Warriors hockey at the site working after the Government ordered the cancellation of all sports activities in the country to contain the spread of Covid-19. [Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard]

According to the Butali man, it has been somewhat difficult to keep doing what he loves most given the restrictions on movement, but he is committed to helping clients remotely.

“We work from home because it is all about systems and software but we try to help clients remotely within the capital city,” he said.

Despite that, Wakura says he juggles between training sessions and work.

“I wake up at 6am for my morning runs (10km) for an hour. Thereafter, I get back to work.”

“In the afternoon, I workout from home, doing sit-ups, press-ups and push-ups. All these help me maintain my fitness level,” said the national team player.

With his major concern being job security and playing time, Wakhura urges all Kenyans to adhere to the Ministry of Health’s directives, which will help in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

“We hope the situation will be put under control very soon so that we can resume our daily routine,” he said.

Wakhura, who also plays for the national team, signed for champions Butali Warriors in 2016.

Engineer Constant Wakhuru of Butali Warriors works from home after the Government ordered the cancellation of all sports activities in the country to contain the spread of Covid-19. [Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The Standard Digital

National Volunteer Week – Feature Volunteer Ashleigh Gold

by Joshua Rey

Field Hockey Canada is celebrating National Volunteer Week from April 19-25. This week, we will feature a few volunteers from across the country. Thank you for the many nominations from your communities. We are thrilled to have such a terrific cast of volunteers and staff from coast-to-coast. Please enjoy our National Volunteer Week series!

Ashleigh Gold Q and A

Today’s featured volunteer for national volunteer week is Ashleigh Gold of North Vancouver B.C. She is a coach and clinics instructor for the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club.

Field Hockey Canada: How did you get into Field Hockey? Walk me through your introduction to the sport? Why is it special to you?

Ashleigh Gold: My soccer coach introduced me to field hockey as cross-training for soccer. I’ve been hooked ever since! Field hockey is unique in that it has the large field feel of soccer but the additional challenge of a stick and a ball. There are an infinite number of skills you can do making learning endless.

Field Hockey Canada: What motivates you to volunteer?

Ashleigh Gold: Coaching brings me so much joy. I love watching athletes learn new skills and give their all for a common goal. I have had so many great coaches and experiences throughout the years. I feel that it is important to give back to the sport I love and hopefully pass on my passion for field hockey to others.

Field Hockey Canada: Do you think more people should volunteer and how can more people get involved?

Ashleigh Gold:I believe if you had a great experience in your sport, you should do your best to give back

Field Hockey Canada: What is your favourite part about giving back to the field hockey community?

Ashleigh Gold: I love watching others gain a passion for a sport

Field Hockey Canada media release

NCAA modifies protocols for suspended games

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a rule change regarding suspended games in field hockey.

If a game is suspended or interrupted and cannot be resumed, it is considered complete if 48 minutes (80%) of playing time has elapsed, unless the rule is overridden by a mutual agreement between the teams before the beginning of the game or by conference policy.

If 48 minutes of the playing time has elapsed and the game will not be resumed, the score will stand, and the team ahead on the scoreboard is the winner. Under the same scenario, if the score is tied, the result will be recorded as a tie.

Previously, if a game was suspended or interrupted and could not be resumed, it was declared a no contest.

If a suspended game doesn’t reach the 48-minute mark and is resumed on another day, the game will resume at the point of suspension.

This change brings field hockey in line with other outdoor sports, such as lacrosse, soccer and baseball, which have similar rules.

Rules subcommittee

The panel approved the formation of an NCAA Field Hockey Rules Subcommittee effective Sept. 1.

The rules subcommittee will comprise eight members representing the existing Division I, II and III Field Hockey Committees, which select, seed and bracket the three NCAA championship tournaments.

Currently, the NCAA adheres to international field hockey rules. After two years, the Division I, II and III Field Hockey Committees will evaluate the effectiveness of the subcommittee to determine whether the structure should continue or if a stand-alone NCAA field hockey playing rules committee would be more beneficial.

NCAA media release

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