Summer months of April-June is normally feeder season for the One Thousand Hockey Legs. We enroll new boys and girls from schools and give intense in-house and turf training in the spell. These kids have summer vacation in June-July serves ideal for us to synergize sports and education, not at the cost of one on the other.
One Thousand Hockey Legs was fairly successful in enrolling about 300 to 350 kids in the running season. We have added new schools like Begumpur & Dakshinpuri (South Delhi), Rampura (Central Delhi), Shabad (West Delhi) and Paharganh, again Central Delhi.
The significant in the just concoluded enrollment process is that most of them are Girls ony schools, meaning we are making leap towards pursuading these schools, always a tough nut to crack for sports, to open space for kids, who naturally like to play but are unable to do so due to many factors especially lack of sports atmosphere in the educational institutions and in their families. We seek to overcome through our constant efforts.
As of now, we have more girls enrolled than boys, and are getting them ready for the tasks ahead -- competition worthiness.
After summer camps and intense training, which we had in extended spells (April to July), we employed competent coaches to spot talents so that we can focus on evolving an elite program. Accordingly, coaches Manisha, Sunil, Ravi Kumar, Saurabh, Manju and Kanchan were presssed into the job. They have, after witnessing specially organized selection trials, identified about 40 girls (including six goalkeepers) of age group 12-14 for special focus. The emphasis is always improving their fitness levels, by bringing fitness expert in the system and augmenting nutritional provisions.
We have many tournamnets in the months ahead to take part and leave an imprint in the kids' mind and in the State. Besides State Government organized events like Zone, Inter-Zone and Pre-Nehru Cup competitions, we have Jr Nehru Cup, SNBP tournaments and others to showcase the girls' and their improvement.
These 40 girls are being assembled five days in a week - Saturday, Sunday and Mondays for 2-hour fitness session and Wednesday and Thursday for stick and ball game practice. This program is scheduled to run for three months, culminating selecting top 18 players to play in the prestigious Nehru Cup to be held in Delhi in the last week of September, 2022.
Normally, only a Champion School of each state take part in the Nehru Cup. However, considering our reach, and contribution the organizers have agreed to our request to field our team directly, much like NCC. Therefore, we are determined to do well in Sept.
It is interestig to see -- and are proud of that -- that parents of these kids regularly visit Stadiums during the practice times, and develop their opinion on their wards' development. This augurs well for the future plans.
We made a progress on other front too. We could rope in a fitness expert in Sachin Pal, who has done health and fitness course in the reputed National Institute of Sports, Patiala, and is presently training players of leading domestic outfits like Air India and All India Civil Services for the Inter-Departmental National Championships.
With him at the helm, Manisha to look after the games side, the girls are having a whale of time in honing their skills. They started realizing how strenuous the sessions will be and are enjoying.
Fitness cannot go separately from nutrition. How are the kids measure in terms of fitness? The question always conrronted aus while making policy decisions. We are therefore in the process of approaching avialble nutrtional experts / organizations. And to work out a definitive nutrition program before, during and after practice session.
Despite financial constraints, we are taking baby steps in our desire to provide these girl-kids what they require for their nutrtion. We normally give them, after each fitness session, two bananas, 50gs of paneer or 100 gms of soaked Chik Pea, two eggs and a good drink (midway thro session). We, however, feel much more to be done on this score.
Enhanced provision of nutrition, by securing the services of nutritionists, and getting funding to meet all requirments, remains our unfinished task. We knew and are at it.
Developing sustained passion for Hockey by introduction of Hockey to pre and early teenaged children and simultaneously promoting playing sport as a culture and tradition, thereby contributing to develop a sports loving society.