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News for 07 June 2018

All the news for Thursday 7 June 2018

XI South American Games Cochabamba 2018 (M) - Final day
Cochabamba (BOL)

Final resuts

PAR v BOL (7th/8th Place)     4 - 1
URU v PER (5th/6th Place)     0 - 0 (2 - 3 SO
BRA v VEN (3rd/4th Place)     2 - 2 (4 - 3 SO)
ARG v CHI (Final)     1 - 0

Final positions:

1. Argentina
2. Chile
3. Brazil
4. Venezuela
5. Perú
6. Uruguay
7. Paraguay
8. Bolivia

FIH Match Centre


Argentina champion of the South American Games

With one goal from Gonzalo Merino, the Leones took over Chile 1-0 and won the gold medal. Brazil won the 'shoot-outs' against Venezuela and finish 3rd.

Macarena Ilabaca / Patrick Espejo - PAHF

Phot: Instagram sebamir78

Cochabamba. Argentina ratified its favoritism by beating Chile in the final game of Cochabamba’s XI South American Games 2018 and won the gold medal of the tournament. Gonzalo Merino scored the only goal of the game in the Félix Capriles stadium infront of 450 spectators.

It was a very tactical game, and Chile was playing the best match of the tournament, very organized in all its lines and forcing the Argentine team, the last Olympic champion, to try their best to beat them.

Since the beginning of the game Argentina tried to generate spaces, but the Chilean defense with Nicolás Renz , Pablo Purcell and Juan Amoroso took care of every situation with excellent results. Added to that Argentina did not know how to capitalize one of its main weapons, the penalty corners.

Argentina attacked. They did it on the right side, They did it on the left side but they always found a barrier that prevented them from doing so, and when they managed to overcome it, Adrián Henriquez (Chile’s Goalkeeper) was there and made some good saves.

The 0-0 was maintained for three quarters until the minute 40 'when Gonzalo Merino receives a rebound on the right and, without thinking, throws a cross shot that pass Henriquez and broked the parity.

Argentina celebrated the title. The two finalists classified to the Pan American Games Lima 2019 (July 26 to August 11 of next year).


It was a tight game during the 60 minutes. This is the summary of the bronze medal match between Brazil and Venezuela, who had Brazil as a winner.

As soon as the game started, Matheus Borges (Brazil ) was able to score. The game stayed that way until the third quarter, when Lucas Paixão, gave the second goal to his team.

Without further delay and in the same minute of the Brazilian goal, Simón Rojas  lit the lights and hopes of Venezuela and scored the 1-2.

The teams and the crowd took for granted the score when the game had five minutes left, this until the minute 54, when Yanier Velásquez made it and scored the 2-2 for Venezuela.

The shoot outs were as intense and dramatic as the whole game, and after five shots of each teams, Yuri Van Der Heijden scored and gave Brazil the bronze medal.

The shootout final score was 4-3 for Brazil, and was achieved by Yuri Van Der Heijden (the first and last), Bruno Bitencourt and Joaquín López., and for Venezuela, José Oropeza, Wilber Bracamonte and Nelson Álvarez.


Peru had a dramatic victory over Uruguay. The two teams did not score during regulation despite their opportunities. Until the first 'shoot out' of the tournament arrived to Cochabamba. Everything was in the hands of the shooters and the goalkeepers, and it was # 1 in Peru, Felix Mafferetti, who had a very good performance. Peru ended up winning 3-2 and having thier first great joy in these games.

In the first match of the day, Paraguay beat Bolivia 4-1 and stayed with the seventh place of the championship. Ricardo Samudio (4 '), Elías Vera (6'), Elías Vera (43 ') and Jorge Ferreira (46') scored for Paraguay while Alejandro Torres (38 ') scored for Bolivia

Final positions:

1. Argentina
2. Chile
3. Brazil
4. Venezuela
5. Perú
6. Uruguay
7. Paraguay
8. Bolivia

Pan American Hockey Federation media release

Hockey Series Open - Salamanca 2018 (Men) - Day 2
Salamanca (MEX)

Results 6 June 2018

USA v CRC (RR)     19 - 0
MEX v PAN (RR)     11 - 0


Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Mexico 2 2 0 0 29 0 29 6
2 United States 1 1 0 0 19 0 19 3
3 Puerto Rico 1 1 0 0 4 0 4 3
4 Panama 2 0 0 2 0 15 -15 0
5 Costa Rica 2 0 0 2 0 37 -37 0

Hockey Series Open - Salamanca 2018 (Women) - day 2
Salamanca (MEX)

Results 6 June 2018

CAN v GUA (RR)     28 - 0
MEX v PAN (RR)     13 - 0


Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Mexico 2 2 0 0 43 0 43 6
2 Canada 1 1 0 0 28 0 28 3
3 Puerto Rico 1 1 0 0 8 0 8 3
4 Panama 2 0 0 2 0 21 -21 0
5 Guatemala 2 0 0 2 0 58 -58 0

FIH Match Centre

USMNT Dominates Costa Rica in First Match of Hockey Series Open

Image taken by Andrés Mallen

SALAMANCA, Mexico - The U.S. Men’s National Team kicked off the Hockey Series Open with an exclamation mark Wednesday morning at the Cancha de Hockey Siglo XXI in Salamanca, Guadalajara, Mexico. While controlling nearly aspect of the game, nine different USA players registered goals as the USMNT’s offense dominated the opposition in a convincing 19-0 victory over Costa Rica.

“We were trying to score some high percentage goals," said Rutger Wiese, U.S. Men's National Team Head Coach. "I think we did that, especially in the second half. First half I think we were searching a little bit. We didn’t know exactly what to expect from this team.”

It did not take long for USA to get on a roll. From the opening whistle the team took over possession quickly as USA was awarded the first penalty corner of the game, and of many to come. The attempt failed as Aki Kaeppeler’s (Stuttgart, Germany) shot went wide of the mark. With possession, Costa Rica attempted to clear but USA quickly stopped them in their tracks. Tyler Sundeen (Simi Valley, Calif.) took possession of the ball and quickly shot as he entered the circle for the quick opening score in the 2nd minute. Sundeen would follow up his effort with another field goal strike just over a minute later for the back-to-back tallies and helping cement the game’s momentum in the process. In the 8th minute, a penalty stroke was awarded to USA, but Kaeppeler’s shot was denied by Costa Rica goalkeeper, Pablo Trejos. The red, white and blue were awarded two more penalty corners in the opening minutes but could not yet find a solution in their execution. Kaeppeler would ultimately prevail on USA’s fourth penalty corner chance of the opening quarter, scoring on this attempt to make it 3-0. After the ensuing faceoff, USA regained control quickly, charging down field before a penalty by Costa Rica inside the circle set up USA for another penalty stroke. Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Calif.) was successful on the attempt to make it 4-0. With time running out in the opening frame, Alex Grassi (Brookeville, Md.) made it 5-0 on the team’s next penalty corner chance.

Grassi opened the second period with his second of the game in similar scoring fashion as his first field goal. Will Holt (Camarillo, Calif.) was not far behind from getting on the scoreboard as he finished USA’s next penalty corner moments later. The offensive frenzy would cool down the next few minutes as Costa Rica was able to control the ball, but struggled to make it past the center line. USA’s defense was there time and time again to match and apprehend Costa Rica’s advance before taking back over. Following another penalty corner try, Deegan Huisman (Almere, The Netherlands) took advantage of a broken down clear by Costa Rica to make it 8-0 as halftime approached.

In the third, USA swiftly recovered the ball on a clear attempt by Costa Rica. Tom Barratt (Greensboro, N.C.) swung the ball deep to Dhadwal, who entered the circle for a quick shot, but was sent wide of the net. In the 35th minute, Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Calif.) struck on a field goal to push the lead to 9-0. One minute later, USA was back on the penalty corner setup, where Holt delivered another score to make it 10-0. The squad kept the offense flowing with a goal in each of the following three minutes. Dhadwal was successful on another penalty stroke attempt while Huisman and JaJa Kentwell (Spring City, Pa.) had back-to-back field goals, stretching the lead to 13-0. Huisman and Kaeppeler would round out USA’s third quarter dominance with his third score of the match in the 44th and 45th minute respectively.

Kaeppeler netted his third goal of the contest on a penalty corner conversion in the 46th minute, followed by another of similar fashion in the 49th minute to bring USA to 17-0. Grassi would pick up his third of the game a minute later before Christian De Angelis () netted the final goal of the game, making it 19-0 as the final minutes ticked away.

“Good start to the tournament," commented Dhadwal. "The first half was kind of shaky but we got going with our goals. Overall a solid performance."

“Obviously we are trying to improve every game, so we are going back to look at the video and see where we can improve," added Wiese. "I thought certain areas were very good and we started spreading the field. We were a little sloppy in the final stages, like missed traps, bouncing passes so we will need to clean it up. But overall I thought it was a good start to the tournament.”

The U.S. Men’s National Team is back to action Thursday, June 7 when they take on Puerto Rico.

USFHA media release

Toshiba TVs announced as Official Partner of Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup

England Hockey is delighted to announce Toshiba TVs as Principal Partner of England & Great Britain Men’s Hockey for 2018, and as an Official Partner of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018.

Toshiba is a leading TV brand, whose spirit of innovation and commitment to the future has great synergy with England & Great Britain Hockey’s values and ambition.

As part of this collaboration, Toshiba will provide ‘edge of your seat’ viewing experiences for the hockey community and sports fans. With England medalling at the European Championships and, more recently, earning bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the partnership with Toshiba is another excellent step forward for men’s hockey in the UK.

Toshiba’s Partnership agreement includes exclusive branding of the England and Great Britain team’s playing shirts and training kit.

Furthermore, as an official partner of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, Toshiba will help bring to life the nation’s biggest standalone female sporting event of the year, which already has more than 90,000 tickets sold and England games completely sold out.

Toshiba will be a key part of Fan Central at the event, a free spectator area on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“We’re delighted to join forces with Toshiba,” says Jon Cockcroft, Commercial Director of England Hockey. “The association with such an innovative brand provides a great platform to showcase all the qualities of our sport.

"With the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup starting in London in July, and then our men’s team taking part in their own world cup in November, there are great opportunities ahead. We’re looking forward to working with team Toshiba to help reach even wider audiences.”

Sales & Marketing Director for Toshiba TVs in Northern Europe, David Flintoft, adds, “This partnership is incredibly exciting, especially because it is set to run during such an important year for the sport. As an official sponsor, we’ll be supporting the showcase of both men and women's athletic prowess, inviting fans to live and breathe the action, whether they’re at home, at their local hockey clubs or at Fan Central for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup.

"For us, this partnership is not just a great opportunity to introduce hockey to more people, but also to help inspire the next generation of athletes.”
For more information on Toshiba TVs visit: http://www.toshiba-tv.com @toshibatveurope

England Hockey Board Media release

Surbiton get major Boon with Ben’s arrival

English club Surbiton have announced that Ben Boon will be joining the club from Reading for the 2018-19 season, adding to their line-up for their return to the EHL.

Boon, 23 years old, captained Reading in the 2018 men’s championships Tier 1 final at Lee Valley, scoring a late equaliser against Beeston to force the shootout which Reading won 4-2.

Boon was first registered in the national league to Reading in September 2013 and is a member of the Great Britain Hockey Elite Development Squad.

He made his England Senior Indoor international debut against Croatia in the Euro Hockey Indoor Championships in Alanya, Turkey in January 2018. Boon was also a member of the Great Britain Under-21 squad which won silver at the 2014 Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia and bronze at the 2014 European Junior Nations Championships at Waterloo, Belgium.

Boon has been capped at both Under-21 and Under-23 levels for England. On joining the Sugden Road club, Boon said, “I’m really excited and happy to be joining Surbiton Hockey Club. This is a club with a proud history and exciting ambitions and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

Looking forward to Surbiton’s participation in Europe next season, Boon added, “With the club playing in the EHL next year, it is a great step for me to develop as a player, and I know that it is the right club environment to take me to the next step in my hockey career.”

Surbiton HC Men’s Head Coach, Mark Pearn said, “I am delighted that Ben has chosen to join us at Surbiton HC and that he is excited by the challenge of taking this team forward again next season. We have had two very successful years, but we want to continue to improve and make our mark in the EHL as well as retaining our National Premier League title for a third straight season.

“He is exactly the type of player we want in our team as he is quick, direct and always puts opposition defenders on the back foot. I will be working hard to help him to develop as a player and to make the next steps with his hockey career. I know his new teammates are looking forward to playing alongside him next year.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Atletic Terrassa add two Dutch talents to their line-up

©: Frank Uijlenbroek/world Sport Pics

Atletic Terrassa have signed up two Dutch rising stars with the addition of Johannes Mooij from AH&BC Amsterdam and Jair van der Horst from HC Oranje-Rood.

Van der Horst has been playing for the last three campaigns with the Eindhoven club and has been a Dutch Under-21 international, adding to their midfield and forward lines.

Mooij has been in the Amsterdam team for the last five seasons and has also captained the side. He was named the ABN AMRO Talent of the EHL at the FINAL4 in Barcelona when he helped Amsterdam win silver.

The Dutchman can play in defence or as a midfielder and has signed following a great season with his team, reaching the final of the Hoofdklasse, only denied the title in the last of three legs.

Euro Hockey League media release

Jenniskens announces his Bloemendaal retirement after three EHL titles

©: Frank Uijlenbroek/world Sport Pics

HC Bloemendaal midfielder Tim Jenniskens has announced his retirement from the club’s first team after 11 years playing at the top level.

During that time, he won three national championships and three EHL titles as well as an Olympic silver medal with the Oranje in 2012.

In addition to hockey, Tim, together with his childhood friend and another former Bloemendaal player Rogier Hofman, founded the company Fanbased, which coaches individuals and companies in the ways to high performance.

With the Sport Helpt foundation, the two former top hockey players also make dream meetings possible for very sick children with their sports idols. Tim Jenniskens, who decided to wait until after the EHL to make the decision known, will remain involved with Bloemendaal and will play with some old friends in the second team.

His retirement follows Jaap Stockmann while Jamie Dwyer returns to Australia and Xavi Lleonart moves back to Real Club de Polo.

Coming in are 2017 world player of the year Arthur van Doren and goalkeeper Maurits Visser.

Euro Hockey League media release

South Africa under 21 Invitational Men named for IPT

The teenager Dayaan Cassiem has established himself as one of the most exciting youngsters in world hockey. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images for FIH

The South African Hockey Association announces the South African under 21 Invitational Mens Squad to take part in this year’s Senior Men’s IPT in Pietermaritzburg at the beginning of August.

This represents the next phase of the squad's development towards the next FIH Junior Hockey World Cup. In September 2017 a 34 man greater squad was announced and a host of these players were selected to represent the iWyze Golden Gate Gladiators at the 2017 Premier Hockey League, with the balance of the players being drafted into the other five PHL teams.

On the back of this, the U21 IPT and the recently completed Varsity Sports tournament, coach Garreth Ewing is excited about the pick of players he has at his disposal.

“I am looking forward to working with this new U21 team at IPT. This is the latest phase in our selection process, taking into account performances at U21 IPT as well as PHL and the Varsity Sports Hockey. Playing against “men” is always a challenge for the youngsters but it gives us a great idea of who can compete at Junior World Cup level.”

Dayaan Cassiem and Andrew Hobson have senior national experience that will be vital in the young team. While Samkelo Mvimbi and Che February will both be looking to find the back of the net and bring goals similar to the belters they scored at Varsity Sports to IPT. Mark Chong was the player of the final when Tuks upset Maties at the same tournament and will be of paramount importance to the SA U21 Invitational Squad in Martizburg.

It’s an exciting team that promises to play a high-intensity level of hockey and don’t be surprised if they snatch results in the final quarter, a hallmark of the SA U21 sides over the past few years!

South African U21 Invitation Squad
      Name     Province
1     Duncan Fischer     Southern Gauteng
2     William Eveleigh     Western Province
3     Andrew Hobson     Western Province
4     Jarred Cass     Northern Blues
5     Clayton Saker     Western Province
6     Andile Ndlovu     Southern Gauteng
7     Matthew Davies     Northern Blues
8     Samkelo Mvimbi     Northern Blues
9     Chris Makaba     Southern Gauteng
10     Mark Chong     Northern Blues
11     Che February     Southern Gauteng
12     Spencer Botes     Southern Gauteng
13     Max Pike     Western Province
14     Matthew Roman     Western Province
15     Brad Sherwood     Northern Blues
16     Michael Forrest     Northern Blues
17     Lungani Gabela     Kwazulu Natal Raiders
18     Dayaan Cassiem     Western Province

SA Hockey Association media release

FIH reveals new Officials development programme aligned to growth of hockey

FIH aims to significantly increasing the quality of officiating across the sport through a new development structure Photo: FIH/WSP

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has revealed comprehensive restructuring of its Officials setup aimed at significantly increasing the quality of officiating across the sport.

A forward-thinking development programme is being introduced which includes increased fitness standards, educational and psychological training, match preparation and a talent identification programme focused on supporting up and coming officials across the world.

One of the key components reflects the FIH’s ‘Equally Amazing’ values whereby Technical Officials and Umpire Managers at both men’s and women’s international events will be made up of individuals from both genders.

Another important change sees the alignment of all officiating panels within a standard framework. This will incorporate mandatory performance evaluation and educational courses designed specifically for the level of official as part of their professional development which will be supported by the FIH Hockey Academy and Continental Federations.

“This is an important step towards increasing the degree of professionalism within the sport. We believe that we have some of the best officials in world sport, but as our game continues to develop apace we need to ensure our officials remain ahead of the game.”
Jon Wyatt, FIH Sport and Development Director

An overview of the new levels of officiating is listed below.

Talent Development Panel: The panel for younger talent in all categories of officials. A special education programme is dedicated to this group of officials at Continental Federation level.

International Panel: The entry-level international panel. Mostly used at continental level.

Advancement Panel: The panel for the high potential officials with the likelihood of reaching the Hockey Pro League Panel or International Elite Panel within three years.

International Elite Panel: The panel for the very experienced officials that can operate at both continental and global level.

Pro League Panel: The very best officials. High performance. Serving the Hockey Pro League.

The World Cup Panel: Populated by the best Hockey Pro League Panel Officials to serve the FIH World Cups.

The Olympic Games Panel: Populated by the best Hockey Pro League Panel Officials to serve the Olympic Games.

Speaking about these changes, FIH Director of Sport and Development Jon Wyatt said: “This is an important step towards increasing the degree of professionalism within the sport. We believe that we have some of the best officials in world sport, but as our game continues to develop apace we need to ensure our officials remain ahead of the game.”

He added: “We are convinced this new structure will not only raise officials’ performances but more importantly ensure they reach their full potential across all levels of international hockey. Such development will undoubtedly result in a better on-field product which will subsequently enhance our already amazing game.”

FIH site

Applications closing soon for role of England & GB Hockey Men's Head Coach

England Men World League 2017

Applications are closing on Monday for role of England & GB Hockey Men's Head Coach.

Reporting to the Performance Director, the Head Coach will be responsible for providing world class leadership and coaching to the national team. The Head Coach will be responsible for transitioning the men’s programme to a place of delivering systemic and consistent international success on the world stage, most specifically, medal winning performances at world-level events and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The senior team operates within a centralised programme at Bisham Abbey. The Head Coach is required to work closely with key performance staff, providing detailed planning for the programme to Tokyo and the following cycle.

To find out more information and submit your application for the role click here.

Please note - the deadline is midday (11:00 GMT) on 11 June 2018.

England Hockey Board Media release

PHF continues ill-treatment of local hockey coaches

LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), whose alleged bogus elections are making headlines in the country, has opened its coffers for foreign coaches while at the same time it is not prepared to spend a single penny for local people who have remained involved in different capacities with the team’s training. The PHF, according to sources, has hired the services of Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans for a lucrative package of Euro 8,000 per month (Rs1.1 million) besides other fringe benefits. The PHF secretary general has not disclosed Oltmans’ package to the media since his appointment. The 63-year-old Dutch coach, who is here on his second stint – March 1, 2018 to September 1, 2020 – was getting Indian Rs 9.5 lakh per month by the Indian Hockey Federation before taking up the present assignment with Pakistan.

Pakistan’s goal-keeping coach Shahid Ali Khan parted ways with the PHF on the grounds of step-motherly treatment. He was annoyed upon learning that his name was not sent for the Commonwealth Games as one of the coaches. Physical trainer Imran Khan, who remained associated with the team’s training on the eve of the Commonwealth Games, also left the camp in disgust.

Earlier, the PHF specially invited former international Safdar Abbas’s son and a qualified physical trainer, Mudassir Abbas from Australia and handed a meagre amount to him for his services. Last but not the least, the PHF utilised the services of veteran athletics coach Mohammad Talib by handing him a batch of eight senior players to improve their physical fitness. “On the instruction of the Dutch coach, PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed asked me to improve the physical fitness of these players as they may make a comeback in the team,” Talib was quoted as saying.

Talib said he was happy that four of the eight players have made it to the national team after a fortnight training. Talib, who has remained involved with a number of gold medal winning hockey and other teams in the past, said he took pride to groom the players without any interest but regrets that nobody acknowledges his work.

The Daily Times

Matson Enjoys Faster Than Usual Senior Year

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The final handshakes, hugs and cap throws are wrapping up around the United States this week as the Class of 2018 celebrates completion of high school. Among them is U.S. Women's National Team athlete, Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.), who actually celebrated this feat quicker than the average high schooler in order to dedicate more time to the USWNT in preparing for the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup and beyond. The past few months have been filled to the brim for the 18 year-old midfielder, not buried in a textbook for an upcoming exam, but in the training room, pitch and reviewing film. Despite the early exit, Matson did not miss out on some of the most memorable senior year moments of a high schooler's life. USA Field Hockey sat down with its youngest National Team member between competitions to talk about her experience between graduation, this summer's schedule and her upcoming debut this fall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

USA Field Hockey: How early did you complete your high school curriculum? And could you describe that process?

Erin Matson: I was able to complete my required high school, NCAA and UNC admissions course requirements by the end of my senior fall semester. I took my last high school final and turned in my last paper in mid-January and started training full time with the U.S. Women’s National Team right away. I took a pretty heavy course load freshman and sophomore year and I took the SAT/ACT tests early so that gave me a good foundation when finishing high school early even became a consideration for me. I did have to take one online course last summer during Hockey World League 3 in South Africa, but that was the only extra class I needed to take to fulfill all of my requirements. My Unionville High School family was very supportive working through my class schedules, which definitely helped make the process less stressful, but it did take a lot of focus and sacrifice on my end to juggle everything. The original plan was for me to ‘grey shirt’ at UNC and start college early this past spring, but after we qualified for the World Cup last summer, my family, coaches and I discussed the option of me living in Lancaster and training with the USWNT instead. This way I could be with the team full time preparing for the World Cup in London this July. 

USA:How much of your extra free time was focused on finishing early?

EM: Once I decided in the fall of my junior year that I wanted to finish high school early, I have to admit, it was a little bit hectic reviewing all of the course requirements and mapping out my remaining class schedules for junior and senior year as much as possible in advance. As mentioned earlier, I was fortunate that I worked hard academically my freshman and sophomore years which gave me a strong foundation for all of the UNC admissions requirements. Taking the SAT, ACT and subject tests early, and making sure the NCAA Eligibility center was up to date and all those course requirements were met were also important steps in the process. I was extremely lucky to have such a special support system along the way too including my family, all of my coaches, the entire USWNT, the UHS faculty and administration and especially my UHS guidance counselor, Maribeth Lyles. When high school course work ended for me in January, I started an online college class the following week to help get ahead on my general education course requirements at UNC. I just finished up my final exam for that, so, now, the rest of my spring and summer can be focused on field hockey and preparing to go off to college in the fall! I never even thought about finishing high school early when I first stepped into high school, so it always helps to plan ahead - you never know what the future might have in store for you!

USA: Since you finished early, did that mean missing out on any major high school activities?

EM: Honestly, I am very fortunate with the way the training calendar fell and I won’t miss the major events that are important to me like prom and graduation. I was able to attend both my senior prom and my boyfriend’s senior prom in May and I will be walking with my class at graduation on June 5. Because The Nook is an hour and fifteen minutes from my home, I am also able to drive back for some of the year-end celebrations and senior ceremonies and the final senior dinner dance. I was even able to make my brother’s high school baseball banquet. He had a great season, so I wanted to go and support him and my senior classmates. The only major activity that I will miss out on is the senior stroll back to the elementary and middle schools and senior picture day.

USA: Upon completion, how did it feel knowing your full attention could now be with the USWNT?

EM: Just being able to attend all the team workouts and training sessions full-time and really focus on preparing for the World Cup with the team has been incredible. During my last few weeks of high school back in January, I had the same anxious and exciting feeling that many seniors experience around this time of year. As our test series with Argentina in June and the World Cup in July are now right around the corner, I can honestly look back and say that all the hard work and sacrifice to finish school early was definitely the right decision. 

USA: Your comments/thoughts looking ahead to focusing with the USWNT, as well as college field hockey?

EM: The team’s main focus right now is making sure we are at our best both physically and mentally come World Cup time. We have a final trip to Argentina for a test series at the beginning of June which will also help us prepare. Argentina is always a tough competitor for us, and we look forward to playing them to see where we have improved and what we still need to work on before London in July. Saying I am excited to get down to Chapel Hill and for the college season to start is an understatement. However, right now I am focused on the USWNT and training for the upcoming events this summer.

USA: Anything else you would like to add about finishing school early to focus on a dream?

EM: I think it is very important to understand what is right for you and then to make the most of whatever path you choose. For me, the decision to finish high school early allowed me to get one step closer to achieving my goals and dreams, so the extra focus, time and effort I had to put in was well worth it in the end.

USFHA media release

Olympian’s son’s tribute to hockey ‘on top of the world’

Colonel Sarfraz, son of Colonel Balbir, takes a hockey stick to Mount Everest

Indervir Grewal

Colonel Sarfraz Singh with a hockey stick on Mount Everest.

“Standing on top of the world”, having achieved his 16-year-old dream, Sarfraz Singh then did what “no one had done before him” — at the summit of Mount Everest, the Indian Army Colonel posed for a picture with a hockey stick.

Sarfraz, who led a “highly-successful” mission of eight members to the top of world’s highest peak last month, had first dreamt of climbing Everest in 2002, just two years after he completed his mountaineering course. But the idea of taking a hockey stick along came much later.

“It was something my father and I had discussed,” said Sarfraz, whose father is hockey Olympian Colonel Balbir Singh Kular.

Kular, who comes from the famous hockey village of Sansarpur, Jalandhar, was part of the bronze-winning team at the 1968 Olympics. “It was his idea. He wanted to become the first person to take a hockey stick to the top of Everest,” said Kular.

Sarfraz, 42, said it was his way of paying a tribute to the sport and motivate the Indian hockey team. “Up there, being the closest to God, I prayed for Indian hockey to regain its lost glory,” said Sarfraz, who will present the hockey stick to FIH president Narinder Batra.

Seven Summits

Though Sarfraz, who comes from an Army family, never pursued a career in hockey, he was always attracted to adventure sports.

Sarfraz, who is from the elite Parachute Regiment, got the opportunity to pursue his passion in the Army. In 2004, he climbed his first peak above 7000 metres, and since then, he has climbed 14 peaks. Last year in February, he became the director of the National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports (NIMAS) in village Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh.

It was there that he got the opportunity to attempt Mount Everest after the Defence Minister, who is also the president of NIMAS, sanctioned the expedition. “It took more than a year to prepare. We climbed three prominent peaks, including one in Nepal to prepare for the Everest climb,” said Sarfraz.

“From 30 candidates, we chose eight climbing members, apart from the team doctor. The climbing team included six Armymen and two locals from Dirang, who work at the institute,” he added.

The team reached Kathmandu on March 29 and the Everest base camp on April 11. While the other seven members climbed the summit on May 19, Sarfraz did it a day later. “It was a highly successful mission. We had a 100 percent success rate,” he said.

Sarfraz has now climbed four of the Seven Summits —the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. With Asia, Europe, South America and Africa done, his next target is Denali in Alaska, North America, in 2019. But before that, in September-October, he will try for Mount Nyegi Kangstang — a virgin 7000-metre peak — in Arunachal Pradesh. “It is a remote peak, making it very difficult. It takes 15 days to reach the base camp,” he said.

What do the parents have to say about his passion? “They worry, obviously, but also support me,” he added.

The Tribune

India hockey’s Sandeep Singh set for wax statue unveiling

By The Hockey Paper

Former India hockey captain Sandeep Singh will join a host of sporting greats when his wax statue is unveiled this month.

The statue of the Indian hockey player will be installed at the Jaipur Wax Museum at the Nahargarh Fort.

He will join the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, badminton star Saina Nehwal and Lionel Messi.

Anoop Srivastava, founder-director of the museum, said: “Sandeep Singh has given many golden moments to Indian hockey.

“And not just his skills, but his comeback to hockey after a life-threatening incident is what makes the lanky defender’s story inspiring for all of us.

“We hold him in high esteem and we are excited to have his wax figure at our museum.”

Singh’s comeback to the Indian national team was realised after an accidental gunshot left Sandeep paralysed and consigned to a wheelchair for two years.

He told Indian media: “It is a big honour for me. I am overwhelmed at this gesture of Jaipur Wax Museum. The museum authorities approached me about two months back with the proposal and I instantly said yes.”

Dhyan Chand is widely onsidered as one of the sport’s greatest players and he will get his own wax statue installed in the future.

The journey of Singh has also been turned into an upcoming film biopic of the hockey player, scheduled to be released this summer.

Actor Diljit Dosanjh, who plays Singh, said: “I feel proud to be part of ‘Soorma’. Sandeep has never failed to make India proud, be it on field or off it, he keeps setting the benchmark higher.”

The Hockey Paper

Trauma to heroics

Shama Bhagat

Diljit Dosanjh, who will essay the role of  hockey star Sandeep Singh in the upcoming biopic Soorma, says it was traumatic sitting in a wheelchair for the first time while doing the role.

Soorma is the story of former Indian hockey captain Sandeep, who was injured in an accidental gunshot in 2006, paralysing him from the hip. Fighting all odds, Sandeep  recovered and made a comeback to international hockey in 2008. India won the 2009 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup under his captaincy and went on to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

Diljit  revealed recently that he  refused to take up the film when he  met director  Shaad Ali for the first time. However, when they forced him to hear the narration, he came to know more about Singh. “I didn’t know anything about him. I thought it would be just another  film on hockey. A lot of films have already been made on the sport, but when I heard the story I  was ashamed I didn’t know about such a player.”

“When I started training, I realised what pain and trauma he must have gone through as the entire game relies on your back. You have to bend when you play and the pressure is immense.”

The actor said the most traumatic experience was sitting in the wheelchair when he was shooting the rehab portions. “At that moment, I felt what Sandeep Singh must have gone through, what he must have faced. It  must have been so difficult for him. Not only that, he got over all his trauma and started playing hockey again.”

Diljit says this was the first time he ever held a hockey stick when he trained for the game.  “My dad used to play hockey, but I never did. He bought me a hockey stick when I was young, but I was inclined to music and never took to the game.”

Dijit received training from Sandeep and his brother Bikram. “They were always with me on the sets. I  learnt a few nuances of the game as I am good at imitating others. I hope I have performed well and won’t disappoint them. Sometimes, I would forget the rules, but then they were always there to remind me about those.”

Diljit has also sung a song  for the film: “I have sung one song penned by Gulzar himself and composed by Shankar Ehsaan and Loy.”

Soorma, which also stars Taapsee Pannu and Angad Bedi, releases on July 13.

The Telegraph, India

Teenager dreams of new ‘hockey heart’ after rare condition

By The Hockey Paper

An aspiring hockey teenager’s father has told of his daughter’s brave fight after collapsing at school and being diagnosed with a rare heart condition. Her aim? To walk out of hospital with a new heart, dribbling a hockey ball.

Anna Hadley, 13, had just been selected for Worcestershire under-13s last November when the incident occurred during a PE lesson.

Anna was subsequently diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy and Long QT syndrome, a disorder of the heart’s electrical activity, meaning that she couldn’t play competitive sports.

Such was her love of hockey and playing the sport, an initial switch to goalkeeping proved short-lived after stress tests revealed that her heart disorder was potentially the cause of previous collapses.

After waiting months to find out her plight, she has now been officially placed on the heart transplant waiting list. But her wait could last up to a year or more.

“My new ‘hockey heart’ will save my life and allow me to play hockey again,” she said.

“I can’t wait for that day to happen, but it also makes me sad to think that another person will lose their life in order to save mine.”

In recent weeks, she has aimed to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and took part in the Worcester Hearty Walk where she has raised nearly £3,000. She was joined on the walk by nearly 40 friends and family.

“Anna was overwhelmed at the turn out at the event and the money raised having initially set a target of £100,” said her father, Andrew.

“Not being able to play hockey is so incredibly frustrating, particularly as she had just been selected for Worcestershire. It was a cruel blow for someone so active and dedicated to playing hockey.

“Anna is now limited to gentle walks, and other similar low impact exercises which maintains a low level heart rate.”

The aim for the Hadley family is for Anna to keep her own heart for as long as possible, due to the risks centred around heart transplants.

“Anna just wishes she had her new hockey heart now so that she can get back on the pitch instead of watching from the sidelines,” Andew added.

“Her dream is to recover quickly after transplant and then dribble a hockey ball out of Great Ormond Street Hospital and get back into training and playing.”

While on the transplant waiting list Anna is raising awareness of the lack of registered paediatric donors and also the risk of undiagnosed heart disease in youngsters playing competitive sports.

The Hadley family are all registered donors, while Anna has consented to offering her old heart valves for donation, ensuring other patients can escape a lifetime of medications. Her heart muscle will be used in research projects.

While Anna waits for her “hockey heart” she has been supported by England women’s squad who have written her cards, provided gifts and even made donations to her online fundraising page.

The Hockey Paper wishes her well and you can support her fundraising efforts here

The Hockey Paper

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