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News for 28 November 2020

All the news for Saturday 29 November 2020

Will there be indoor hockey at Vietnam Sea Games?

By Jugjet Singh

Datuk S. Shamala. -NSTP/File pic

The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) are confident that Vietnam will host indoor hockey in next year's Sea Games.

Indoor hockey is currently not on the list of 40 sports for the biennial games, despite appeals from seven affiliates at a recent Sea Games Federation meeting.

Vietnam will need clearance from their government to include more sports.

The AHF released next year's calendar recently with the Sea Games indoor hockey event marked down on Nov 21-Dec 2.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president Datuk S. Shamala is confident that with the help of the AHF, the sport will be held in Vietnam.

"The AHF organised an online course (hockey) on rules and regulations for Vietnam-based technical officials recently, so we hope something positive will come out of this."

Malaysian veteran hockey official Jusver Singh conducted the course.

A course on indoor hockey will be conducted soon.

According to sources, Vietnam officials were more interested in asking questions about indoor hockey than field during the course.

Vietnam, however, do not have facilities for indoor hockey.

"If Vietnam agree, we will be more than willing to offer advice on how to build courts. We can also send our coaches to help them form a team," she added.

At last year's Philippines edition, Malaysia won both the men and women's gold medals.

New Straits Times

District East hockey team honoured for winning Sindh event

Victorious District East hockey team players are seen with chief guest Imitaz Ali Shah, Minister Shelhla Raza and KHA officials at the reception on Thursday

KARACHI: The District East Hockey team, which recently won the Sindh Inter-district Hockey Championship, was feted at a dinner held at the KHA Sports Complex on Thursday. The ceremony was organised by KHA in collaboration with Sindh Sports department to honour the victorious team for winning the title after a long time.

Secretary Sports Department Sindh Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah graced the ceremony as chief guest and presented Rs10,000 each to the players and officials of the District East team besides the winner’s trophy which was received by DE skipper Shahbaz Ali.

Imtiaz also decorated the players with gold medals. Sindh Minster Syeda Shehla Raza, Olympian Hanif Khan and KHA secretary Haider Hussain were also present on the occasion.

KHA patron-in-chief retired Vice Admiral Syed Arifullah Husseni asked the players to maintain the competitive spirit. Shehla Raza said it is a good omen that hockey activities have been revived after a long time due to action against the encroachment mafia at the play grounds of the city.

She said the government will construct hockey fields in all districts of the province and lauded the champions. KHA president Dr Syed Junaid Ali Shah also attended the program and lauded the hard work of the winners.

Secretary Sports later presented two air tickets to upcoming players Sultan Mehmood and Arbaz Ayaz from Karachi to Peshawar to compete in the National Under-16 Hockey Championship there.

KHA officials Gulfaraz Khan and Haider Hussain also thanked the chief guest for supporting the players.


Scottish Conference development opportunity being grasped in the north

Full marks to North District who have had the good fortune of playing a total of 17 games to date since the middle of October, and also to Ellon women and Granite City Wanderers men who have turned out in six and five weekends respectively.

Gordonians women had a challenging time in last season`s Premiership, but are taking full advantage of the North Conference breathing space to restock their resources.

Gordonians` Rebecca Murray explained: “The North Conference has been hugely beneficial for us this season. We have eleven new faces in the squad so these matches have provided us a great opportunity to gel as a team and practice what we`ve been working on in training.”

“We also have a number of under-18s in the squad doing a fantastic job.”

First mentioned are Jess Freeland (15) and Ailsa Phimister (16). “Both played with us in the Premiership last season and have cemented their place as key members of the team.”

Next on the list are Grace Wilkinson (14) and Anna Warnock (15) who have stepped up from the second team squad, and both “are playing brilliantly, progressing rapidly and have a bright future ahead.” The latter has already found her way to the net at this level with goals in each of the recent games against Ellon and Aberdeen University.

The final group of youth players consisted of Emma Christie (15), Kate Duncan (14), Freya McNeill (16) and Christie Allan (17). On these Rebecca Murray remarked: “They are all great young players who have stepped up from playing district level hockey – the North Conference is providing them a valuable stepping stone to go on to play national league in the future.”

It would appear that Gordonians are making full use of the North Conference to invest in the future, and they might now be well prepared for the Premiership when it starts up again.

Gordonians will look to keep up the pressure on league leaders Ellon with a home win against Aberdeen University. Unfortunately the students have yet to break their duck in the North Conference, although last weekend they went down narrowly 2-1 to Granite City Wanderers.

In the other fixture Ellon face Granite City Wanderers for the third time in the conference, previously the former have come out on top by 3-2 and 5-3. The district league side have come a long way since entering the conference competition, and completing the treble on Saturday would further enforce their development this season.

Ellon came a cropper against Gordonians last weekend, although they were missing several regulars through injury and five under-18s stepped in, but captain Louise Gordon once again stressed the positive. “As always it was good experience playing against a Premiership team.”

In the men`s competition Granite City Wanderers lost their unbeaten record 2-3 to Gordonians last weekend, and are now only three points in front in the table with two games more played. The leaders will favour getting back to winning ways against Ellon who they have already seen off 3-1 and 5-1 this season.

Gordonians are lurking in second place after three straight victories and on Saturday make the short trip to Rubislaw to take on Aberdeen Grammar FPs. The Countesswell`s side will undoubtedly start favourites, but Grammar have shown steady improvement and notched their opening win of the campaign with a two goal defeat of Ellon, with Kieran Christine and Stephen Malloy were on target.

However, last time out it was Gordonians who took the honours with a comfortable 4-1 score, Adam Walker, Paul Weston and a double from Will Serle did the damage.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Hockey Heart Beats & More: Odisha is Redefining Sports in India?


Odisha came into the hockey limelight as a ‘out of box’ franchise of the globally acclaimed Hockey India League

With series of initiatives, Odisha seems to pitch itself as the Sporting Destination of India. Its a huge task, entailing long journey course of which will be joyfully watched by every sports follower in India.  The task of Odisha is topical. Therefore, in our ongoing endeavour to bring the views of news makers to wide audience, we speak to Odisha Govt’s top sports administrator Mr. Vishal Dev, Secretary, Department of Sports & Youth Services – Editor

As its tourism tagline suggests, Odisha was indeed the ‘Best Kept Secret’ from the world. Located on the eastern coast of India, the state made headlines for its tryst with natural disasters than anything else. Not that Odisha didn’t have its share of sports glory; but it remained fairly subdued and unknown to the rest of the world.

All this, until the Kalinga Lancers team came up. Its a turning point for Odisha’s sporting history. In 2013, when the team first played at the Hockey India League, the venue Kalinga Stadium reverberated with enthusiasm which was never seen before. The stadium was jam-packed, the crowd on its toes cheering, and Bhubaneswar turned into a ‘hockey-loving’ destination almost overnight.

The Odisha administration kindled the newly found interest in sports and thus began Odisha’s journey to becoming the ‘Sports Destination’ of India.

From 2013 onwards, the state has played host to major international tournaments – Hockey Champions Trophy in 2014 to Asian Athletics Championships in 2017; from Rugby Internationals to the 2018 Hockey World Cup. In fact, the state is all set to host the 2023 Hockey World Cup as well, making it the first venue in history to host two World Cups simultaneously.

Today, the state is the primary sponsor of national hockey and rugby teams. It has collaborated with Corporates to establish High Performance Centres in the state for several sports. To put it simply, in less than a decade Odisha has revamped itself as the ‘go-to’ sports destination.

Mr. Vishal Dev

stick2hockey.com caught up with Vishal Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Department of Sports & Youth Services on the journey and more.

Q: Of late, a lot of sports personalities have been talking about ‘Odisha Sports Model.’ What is this Odisha model of sports?

Vishal Dev: The Odisha model of sports is a triangular model – which involves Government, Corporate and an eminent sports personality. There are two components in it. First is the eminent sports personalities tie up with corporates and establish a High Performance Centre. In this, the Government plays facilitator and investor for infrastructure. The other two provide coaches and soft components. In the second component, Corporates fund and the government provides the land to facilitate the process. Taking hockey as an example, the Odisha Government has developed the infrastructure while the Tata trusts give their coaching support at the Tata Naval Hockey Academy.

s2h: To develop hockey at the grassroot level in Odisha, CM Naveen Patnaik had announced setting up of astro-turfs in all blocks of Sundargarh district, which is considered as the nursery of hockey in the state. It has been two years since the announcement, what is the status of the project?

VD: There was some delay in that because of COVID and finalising certain technical specifications. At the block level, we won’t be hosting international events. The astro-turf won’t be similar to the one we have at Kalinga Stadium as that one requires 30,000 litres of water each day. So, we don’t need a capital-intensive project at the block level. But, we are working on it.

s2h: Besides a functioning Sports Department, Odisha also has a Hockey Promotion Council. What is the role of that body?

VD: Hockey Promotion Council Odisha (HPCO) is an advisory body which is headed by former hockey captain Dilip Tirkey. Their main function is to guide the development of hockey in the state and strengthen the hockey ecosystem.

s2h: Recently, Odisha has made rapid strides in terms of hosting tournaments and promoting hockey. But, there was a time in early 2000s when several names from Odisha featured in the national team. Do you think the development has come a tad bit late?

VD: Players from Punjab have always dominated hockey. Of course, there was a time when we had Dilip Tirkey, Prabodh Tirkey, Ignace and Lajrus Barla in the team. But, what Punjab is to hockey, Odisha should get there. Of course, not because we are sponsor but players should be able to get into the team on the basis of merit. The High Performance Centre is aiming at that.

As a step towards the goal, we are also collaborating with Hockey India which will send its top officials including the national team’s coach to spend time with the young talents at the HPC.

With FIH President and Indian captain

s2h: Even though Sundargarh is the hotbed of hockey, there is less interest in cities like Bhubaneswar, which has hosted some of the major international events including the World Cup. Is there any plan for reviving school hockey in the non-hockey playing cities?

VD: That is something we can work upon. During the World Cup, everyone was excited. So far, hockey is limited to rural areas. It has not been taken up by the middle class and upper class. But, that is true for almost all sports. But, we can work upon this.

s2h: Odisha will be the first venue to host two simultaneous hockey World Cup. What can we expect this time, given the response in 2018 was positive?

VD: Well, this time one of the venues is Rourkela, which is the hotbed of hockey. It will be difficult to beat the standard that we only had created. I think we can look at improving the facilities and infrastructure. We will discuss with the teams and FIH and work upon their feedback.

s2h: With the ongoing pandemic, do you think it will be difficult to revive the interest in sports?

VD: I don’t think it will be difficult. Yes, sports activities have come to a standstill. But as things improve, I don’t foresee any problems. The synergy is existing, we just need to build upon that. In terms of allocations, we will see cuts. But we know our priorities and the things that can be deferred. World Cup is a priority, so there will be no problem in hosting it. The general infrastructure across the state might slow down. But the international tournaments will be held as per the plan.


Morgan and Boyles Join Honorary Life Members

Both Joan Morgan and Arlene Boyles were awarded Honorary Life Membership of Hockey Ireland at last night’s AGM.

Joan held a variety of posts throughout her time in Hockey Ireland. Over the years she held the position of Team Manager for the Women’s, High Performance Manager, as well as the former company secretary. Joan started with the Irish Hockey Union back in 1996, working with Hockey Ireland until 2018.

Recently retired Women’s Manager Arlene Boyles, who amassed 123 caps for Ireland herself, was also awarded Honorary Life Membership. Having been involved in Hockey Ireland since the age of 13 taking on various roles after retiring from international play. Boyles was also part of an integral part of the Pegasus squad which secured eight Irish Senior Cups and four All-Ireland Club Championship wins. Part of the national setup since 2010, acting as manager for 121 capped games, her mentoring is considered to have been a key influence by many of the Women’s players in their rise to World Cup silver and Olympic qualification.

Both women have been major contributors to the sport, and we hope that their knowledge and experience will be something hockey will benefit from for many years to come.

Martin Canniffe stepped down after his tenure as President at last night’s AGM, and Hockey Ireland would like to thank him for his service over the last number of years. We would also like to welcome Ann Rosa the new President of Hockey Ireland, and the new VP John Dennis.

Irish Hockey Association media release

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