During this Olympic season we, at the Jude Felix Hockey Academy, had the privilege to host Mr Manuel Fredricks, the 1972 Munich Olympics medalist at the JFHA ground.
Mr. Fredricks, a LION HEARTED goalkeeper of his times, hails from the Kannur district in Kerala. He donned the Indian colors from 1971 – 1978 & represented the country at the 1972 Munich Olympics, winning a bronze medal, which was the highlight of his career. He also guarded the Indian post with distinction at the 1971 Barcelona World Cup, 1978 Buenos Aires World Cup & 1974 Tehran (Iran) Asian Games, and also also served in the Indian Army [ASC].
The entire team of JFHA team, including the players was honored to have Mr Fredricks spend his valuable time at the academy. He used the opportunity to recall many a moment from his playing days & sharing few chapters from his hockey life, all serving as valuable lessons to the audience who were all ears. The Olympian encouraged the players to take pride in being part of the academy, a facility, he emphasized, that he never had the opportunity to. His message to the players was to focus and play hard, which he said would help them go places and even wear the Indian colors. Mr Fredicks was kind enough to share with our goalkeepers, some tips and tricks, as he demonstrated some diving, charging and strong defending skills. To see him being this active and involved in the game, even at this age, was such a pleasure for all of us who hold this game so dear.
The day, 5th of August 2012, would remain a memorable one for all of us at JFHA, for having been in the presence of a great player. The icing on the cake was the chance, for each of us, to look, admire, touch and feel the Olympic Bronze medal, his prized possession.
We hope this experience would inspire, at least some of our boys, to emulate the wonderful Mr. Fredricks.