|Dhyan Chand's Birth Anniversary Observed As National Sports Day
Article by K. Arumugam of
Stick2Hockey.com, Graphic courtesy
day star, a former legend and a hockey coach who toils even today for the
upliftment of hockey at the grassroots level will be presented national
awards by the President of India on August 29th, the birth anniversary of
Dhyan Chand, which is being celebrated as National Sports Day in India since
the early 1990s.
Chinglensana Singh, till recently vice-captain of Indian men's
national team has been recommended for Arjuna Award, Manuel Fredericks,
the famous goalkeeper of 1970s, for Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement
Award, and grassroots coach Marzban Patel, popularly known as 'Bawa
Saab' for Dronacharya Award for Lifetime Coaching Achievement.
These awards carry a statuette, citation, a good purse, and other
benefits like lifetime upper-class free railway travel, etc.
Manuel Fredericks: He is the only Olympic medallist
from his home state Kerala, whence present goalkeeper P. R. Sreejesh
hails from. Born on 20th October, 1947, in Burnassery, a cantonment town
in Kannur district, Manuel Fredericks was a part of Indian men's hockey
team for seven years. He made his international debut in 1971 and last
played in the 1978 Buenos Aires World Cup. He is presently settled in
Bengaluru in Karnataka.
Marzban Patel 'Bawa': Bawa is a selfless hockey worker, promoting
hockey in the grassroots. He looks for talent among slum dwellers, drops
outs from schools, and among kids from poor sections of society, in
addition to schools and colleges. He introduces the game to such kids
and stands by them throughout till they can make a career out of hockey.
Brothers Devinder Valmeeki and Yuvraj Valmeeki are his recent finds who
shine in the hockey circuit.
Chinglensana Singh: Hailing from Manipur, this
energy pack of Indian team is a star, though out of the national team of
late. He has figured in all major, recent Indian victories, and was
elevated to deputy captain of the team many times. He is a gold
medallist in the Asian Champions Trophy and the Asia Cup, among others.
|When Dhyan Chand Dropped In For Tea At This Punekar's Residence
Legends of Indian Hockey - Roop Singh, Balkrishan
Singh and the 'Wizard' Dhyan Chand
Article and Photo courtesy retired professor Shrinivas
Kelkar, published in Hindustan Times
how often Major Dhyan Chand came to Pune. Perhaps never, since that day
in 1966, when he donned the hockey jersey and wielded the stick in
public for arguably the last time.
The hockey nationals were being held at the Army School of Physical
Training (ASPT) grounds (now called Army Institute of Physical Training)
in Hadapsar. Organisers had also invited great ex-Olympians of India.
Dhyan Chand came and so did Roop Singh, his equally-illustrious brother.
They were joined by stalwarts of hockey such as Kishan Lal, Bandu Patil,
R. S. Bhola, Shankar Lakshman, Mohinder Lal, Inam-ur-Rehman, the Tokyo
Express Harbinder Singh, and many others.
I would go to the matches every day on my scooter, driving my friend
who was covering the event for a local newspaper. Dhyan Chand was on the
ground every evening. Some of his ex-colleagues were residents of Khadki
then. One time an aged gentleman walked up to him and asked, "Dada,
Dhyan Chand turned to look and exclaimed "Baboo!"
They were in deep embrace the next moment. It was Dhyan Chand's teammate
from the 1936 Olympics, Baboo Nimal. So simple were these heroes of
yesteryear! They brought glory to India, but never bathed in it.
I told this incident to my father, who said, "If they are so
approachable, why don't you ask them over for tea?" I thought it
impossible that the 'Wizard' would accept. Reluctantly I said, "Let me
Next evening, just before the game, I went to Dhyan Chand and
hesitantly asked: "My father is your great admirer. Will it be possible
for you to visit our house, if you are free?"
Prompt came the reply, "Haan haan, kyun nahi? Jaroor ayenge.
Parso chalega?" And then he called out to his brother Roop Singh
who was nearby. "Dekho bhai, parso inke ghar jaanaa hai, chalenge
na?" I could not believe my ears. It was that simple. No hassle, no
Overjoyed, I came home and told my father, who was in the seventh heaven. A
welcome party was planned immediately: Rambhau Lele, the well-known
hockey coach of New English School, Ramanbagh, and some close friends
My reporter friend and I reached the ASPT guest house in our
Ambassador car the evening of the tea. Dhyan Chand and Roop Singh were ready. Just
as we stepped out, they spotted Balkishan Singh, the national coach. "Arey
bhai, hum inke saath ja rahe hai inke ghar. Aate ho to chalo naa saath
mein!" And Balkishan came along too, all three cramped in the back
seat! Fortunately, an extra third garland was already there at home.
Over snacks, talks turned, to who Dhyan Chand would put in an
all-time great team of India. He listed some 30 names. "Chunanaa
mushkil hai," he said. And he did not include himself or his
brother in it.
We all went to our terrace to show him a vantage view of Pune. Dhyan
Chand asked my mother. "Aap jaati hai khel dekhne? Nahi? Theek hai,
lekin kal jaroor aana. Bahut achchha match hoga."
Two matches were scheduled for the next day: The national finals and
a friendly match between current and past Olympians in which he was
playing. The 'bahut accha' match he was referring to wasn't his
match, but the national final.
Next day Dhyan Chand and his team of ex-Olympians came out in clean
whites. All the skills that had earned him the sobriquet 'Wizard' were
clearly visible. His stickwork, flicks and stopping full-blooded shots
from 10 metres, the ball adhering to his stick as if glued. If something
was lacking it was speed, due to his age.
At one point he stepped out during the match for an interview. Before
going back on, Dhyan Chand, the true sportsman, waited outside the
sideline for the umpire's nod to re-enter! And then the game was over.
All retired to the pavilion, and soon, would retire forever.
Since that day, my mother did not watch any other hockey match. How
could she let the memory of that game fade? Or that of the humble legend
who had invited her there.
|Indian Men Win Ready Steady Tokyo Olympic Test Event
Steady Tokyo Olympic hockey test event (men's) was held at the newly-built Oi Hockey
Stadium in Tokyo from August 17-21,
2019. The participating countries were India (world no. 5), New Zealand
(no. 8), Malaysia (no. 12) and hosts Japan (no. 16).
The tournament was preceded by an opening ceremony involving Her
Royal Highness Princess Takamado, to officially launch the event and
also to inaugurate the new stadium.
Captain Manpreet Singh, vice-captain Surender Kumar and senior
players like P. R. Sreejesh, Birendra Lakra, Akashdeep Singh and
Ramandeep Singh were rested for the tournament, while
experienced striker S. V. Sunil returned to the national team after a
gap of nine months.
India won the tournament, and had the following match results:
||Goal Scorers - India
||India 6 - Malaysia 0
||Gurinder Singh (8 min), PC
Singh (18, 56 min)
Mandeep Singh (33, 46 min)
S. V. Sunil (60 min)
||New Zealand 2 - India 1
||Harmanpreet Singh (2 min), PC
||India 6 - Japan 3
||Neelakantha Sharma (3 min)
Xess (7 min), PC
Mandeep Singh (9, 29, 30 min)
Gurjant Singh (41 min)
||India 5 - New Zealand 0
||Harmanpreet Singh (7 min), PC
Shamsher Singh (18 min), PC
Neelakantha Sharma (22 min)
Gursahibjeet Singh (26 min)
Mandeep Singh (27 min), PC
The final positions were as follows: 1 - India, 2 - New Zealand, 3 -
Japan, 4 - Malaysia.
The Indian team for the men's Olympic test event was as
Goalkeepers: Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Suraj Karkera
Defenders: Harmanpreet Singh (captain), Gurinder Singh,
Kothajeet Singh Khadangbam, Varun Kumar, Jarmanpreet Singh, Neelam
Midfielders: Hardeek Singh, Neelakantha Sharma, Vivek Sagar
Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Ashish Kumar Topno, Jaskaran Singh
Forwards: Mandeep Singh (vice-captain), Gursahibjeet Singh, S.
V. Sunil, Gurjant Singh
Officials: Graham Reid (chief coach) Chris Ciriello (analytical
|Indian Women Win Ready Steady Tokyo Olympic Test Event
India draw with world no. 2 Australia in the
Olympic Test Event. Photograph courtesy Daily News and Analysis
Steady Tokyo Olympic hockey test event (women's) was held at the newly-built Oi
Hockey Stadium in Tokyo from August 17-21,
2019. The participating countries were Australia (world no. 2), India
(no. 10), China (no. 11) and hosts Japan (no. 14). One of the objectives
of the test event was to have tournament play in similar climatic
conditions as during the Olympic Games in about a year's time in Tokyo.
It was ready, steady, go for India, who remained unbeaten in the tournament to finish first. India
had the following match results:
||Goal Scorers - India
||India 2 - Japan 1
||Gurjeet Kaur (9, 35 min), both PCs
||India 2 - Australia 2
||Vandana Katariya (36 min)
Gurjeet Kaur (59 min), PC
||India 0 - China 0
||India 2 - Japan 1
||Navjyot Kaur (11 min)
Lalremsiami (33 min),
The final positions were as follows: 1 - India, 2 - Japan, 3 -
Australia, 4 - China.
Drag-flicker Gurjeet Kaur was the top-scorer of the tournament with
The Indian team for the women's Olympic test event was as
Goalkeepers: Savita (vice-captain), Rajani Etimarapu
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Gurjeet Kaur,
Salima Tete, Nisha
Midfielders: Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika,
Leelima Minz, Neha Goyal
Forwards: Rani Rampal (captain), Navneet Kaur, Vandana
Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjyot Kaur, Sharmila Devi
Officials: Sjoerd Marijne (chief coach)
|Indian Oil Win Murugappa Gold Cup Hockey Tournament
Defending champion Indian Oil repeat as Murugappa
Gold Cup Winners - Photograph by M. Vedhan of
93rd Murugappa Gold Cup hockey touarnment was held at the Mayor
Radhakrishnan Stadium in Egmore, Chennai, from August 29 - September 8, 2019.
A total of 10 teams participated in the tournament. They were divided into two pools of
five teams each.
- Pool A: Bharatiya Vayu Sena (Air Force), Bharatiya Sthal Sena
(Army), Bengaluru, Punjab
National Bank, Indian Oil Corporation
- Pool B: Bharatiya Vayu Sena (Navy), Railways, Tamil Nadu,
Kendriya Sachivalaya (Central Secretariat), Punjab & Sindh Bank
Defending champion Indian Oil and Punjab National Bank reached the final
of the Murugappa Gold Cup, with the following match results:
||Punjab National Bank
||beat Bharatiya Sthal Sena 3-2
||lost to Bengaluru 2-4
||beat Bharatiya Vayu Sena 4-3
||beat Bharatiya Vayu Sena 2-1
||beat Bengaluru 4-1
||beat Bharatiya Sthal Sena 4-1
||drew with Punjab National Bank 3-3
||drew with Indian Oil 3-3
||beat Kendriya Sachivalaya 6-3
||beat Bharatiya Nau Sena 4-2
||beat Punjab National Bank 3-1
Winner Indian Oil and runner-up Punjab National Bank received ₹6 lakh and
₹3.5 lakh, respectively. M. M. Murugappan, executive chairman,
Murugappa Group, gave away the prizes.
In addition, a cash award of ₹10,000,
along with a high-end bicycle each, was presented to the following:
- Forward of the Tournament: Affan Yousuf (Indian Oil)
- Midfielder of the Tournament: Pardeep Mor (Kendriya Sachivalaya)
- Defender of the Tournament: T. Satish (Tamil Nadu)
- Goalkeper of the Tournament: Jasbeer Singh (Punjab National Bank)
- Most Promising Player of the Tournament: Mandeep Mor (Punjab National Bank)
2019 has been a good year for Indian Oil. They won the Bombay Gold
Cup in April, the Bangalore Cup in August, and now the Murugappa Gold
Cup in Chennai in September.
In a far-sighted move, the sponsors also launched the inaugural Murugappa city
inter-schools hockey tournament in Chennai, which was held from August
|Photograph of the Month
Marzban Patel receiving the Dronacharya Puraskar from the President of India
Photograph of the Month for September 2019 is of Mr. Marzban 'Bawa' Patel
receiving the Dronacharya Puraskar from the President of India, Ram Nath
Kovind. This was on the occasion of National Sports Day, 29th August,
2019, which is observed on the birth anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand every year.
The following was written by Viren Rasquinha. ex-Olympian and
presently Director and CEO, Olympic Gold Quest.
Bawa has produced 5 hockey Olympians - Gavin Ferreira (Atlanta 1996),
Jude Menezes (Sydney 2000), Viren Rasquinha and Adrian Dsouza (Athens
2004) & Devinder Valmeeki (Rio 2016). Besides, many hockey players, who
have represented India and Mumbai, got jobs through hockey and made
something of their lives.
Bawa eats, sleeps and breathes hockey. Today is Parsi New Year (17th
August, 2019), and he celebrated as usual - by being on the hockey field
- when the Dronacharya award was announced.
He has sold off his personal possessions to give young, poor,
talented kids the chance to play hockey. Every young kid from Mumbai who
has gone on to play for Mumbai or India have passed through Bawa's able hands.
I owe my entire hockey career to Bawa. He recognised a spark in me
when I was 13, and gave me a chance to play for the Republicans in my
first All-India tournament at 14. He kicked my butt to work really hard,
and made me believe in myself. Thank you Bawa. Coaches like you just
don't exist anymore. I can't think of anyone more deserving than you.
Article and Photograph credit Sportstar
India donated ₹31 lakh to Odisha Chief
Minister's Relief Fund on August 7 to help the state recover from the
devastation caused by Cyclone Fani earlier this year.
Hockey India president Mohammad Mushtaque Ahmad and Indian Olympic
Association chief Narinder Batra on Wednesday jointly presented the
cheque to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubanesvar.
The money donated was collected from the proceeds of the sale of
match tickets of FIH Men's Hockey Series Finals held in Bhubanesvar from
June 6 to 15. Odisha was battered by the cyclone just a month before the
FIH Series Finals.
Hockey India said in a statement, "Cyclone Fani had caused extensive
damage and loss to Odisha earlier this year. However, the FIH Men's
Series Finals was successfully conducted in June 2019 in Bhubanesvar
with the love and support of the state government and the people of
Article by Oshin Grace Daniell, Photograph by Bhanu Prakash Chandra courtesy
August 2019 edition of Smart Life, a publication of The Week, has India
captain Rani Rampal on the cover, with the caption - Queen of Hockey.
Excerpts from a Q&A with Rani Rampal are given below.
Who is your role model?
I don't have one. I am my own competition. Every day, I set my own goals
and I challenge myself.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I want to be the best hockey player in the world. I am not looking at
being famous, but I want to be an example.
What kind of food do you like?
I love South Indian food. Masala Dosa is my favourite. I also love
everything that my mother cooks.
Are you a fitness freak?
Health is money for me and so I put in an effort to stay fit, but I am
not a fanatic.
Who is the first person you call when you have a crisis?
My father. I am very attached to him. I also talk to coach Baldev when I
need advice on my game.
A country that you want to visit?
I have heard a lot about Switzerland and I hope I get to visit the country soon.
Do you have any regrets?
I have no regrets. Whatever decisions I have made in life have been
solid lessons for me.
Who is your favourite celebrity?
I love Akshay Kumar. I find his energy contagious.
What is something that you are proud of?
I am proud of the fact that I represent India wherever I go.
|Visitor of the Month
September 2019 Visitor of the Month is
Thousand Hockey Legs (OTHL) from Delhi. The NGO was founded on 28th
December, 2018, and its 10th anniversary brochure is shown above.
- Run by not-for-profit trust Hockey Citizen Group based in
- Objective: Introduce the sport of hockey to at least 500
school kids every year in India
- Target Group: school kids in the 6 to 18 age group from
urban poor and underprivileged sections of society
- In 2019, 8 OTHL boys got selected for Khelo India hockey
tournament, the flagship program for youth sports of the
Government of India
- In 2018, 8 OTHL boys got selected for the Delhi state team
in the Hockey India Junior National Championship (A division)
- In 2016, OTHL was awarded the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan
Puraskar from the President of India
- In 2015, OTHL was awarded Hockey India President's
Donations to the trust are eligible for a 50% tax rebate under
Section 80G of the Indian Incomes Tax Act. Donations can be made in the
name of Hockey Citizen Group, A/C No. 30755536119, IFS Code SBIN0001493.
|Fun With Numbers
Statistics by B. G. Joshi
September 2019 edition of Fun with Numbers is on hockey in Oceania, in the lead up to the Oceania Cup. Australia and New Zealand
are the only participants in the Oceania Cup (men, women), which will be
held in Rockhampton, Australia, from September 5-8, 2019.
Australia vs. New Zealand (Men), 1922 - Present
- New Zealand is the first non-Asian/European team to win the
Olympic gold medal in hockey (1976 Montreal). The team they beat in
the final was Australia
- Australia had to wait an additional 28 years before they won
their only Olympic gold medal in hockey (2004 Athens)
- New Zealand has not reached the semi-finals of any elite FIH
event either before or after their Miracle at Montreal
- * IOC/FIH elite tournaments include Olympics, World Cup,
Champions Trophy/Hockey World League (both discontinued) and Hockey
- ** Includes test series played in 1991 as Olympic Qualifier
|IOC/FIH elite tournaments*
Australia vs. New Zealand (Women), 1935 - Present
- Between 1988-2000, Australia was the top hockey team in the
world, winning 3 Olympic golds (1988, 1996, 2000), and 2 World Cups
- New Zealand's lone gold at a major event came at the 2018
Commonwealth Games, where they beat arch-rival Australia 4-1 in the final
|IOC/FIH elite tournaments