Hockey action under flood lights, Kookaburra balls in use, doctors/physios & ambulance on the sidelines, with a glittering LED Screen showing live action for the audience, a creative and huge scoreboard, DJ playing music after every goal, a band performing during break, guests being escorted by marching Jawans, a Checkered back drop for giving away Man of the Match after every game, a specially designed Souvenir release, firecrackers and the National Anthem sung in chorus by everyone present, etc are rarest of sights in India. Few of these happens in tournaments like WSH or IPL, but its heartening to see all of them being done at an Inter School Hockey Tournament in Bengaluru.
The sight at Bangalore’s only Hockey Stadium aka Shantinagar Hockey Stadium, was no less than an international level tournament all at a school tournament i.e. South United-JFHA Inter School Hockey Tournament. The tournament is organized by Jude Felix Hockey Academy every year, and the 2nd (2012) edition of tournament was sponsored by South United FC (a sports venture of Lokko Sports Pvt Ltd).
JFHA Inter School Hockey Tournament has set up standards by professionally organizing first edition in 2011 and 2012 edition has raised the bar by multiple folds e.g. having a curtain raiser event for Inter School Tournament. On the final day of the tournament, runners up from last year RDT Inclusive High School, Anantapur, who are trained under “Stick for India” project started by Santi Freixa and Andreu Enrich (Spanish Hockey Players) in 2006, defeated Rashtriya Military School 5-2 to clinch the title while Sports School Kudige defeated Bishop Cottons (3-0) to finish 3rd (detailed results are at the end of article).
The prize distribution ceremony after the conclusion of the tournament was unique in its own way. The ceremony began by honoring Coach PA Raphael, who has not only produced many players for India but also transformed hockey in many other countries.
For the first time, Players/Captains of the participating team were given the opportunity to hand over mementos to guests/officials. The chief guest Allan Schofield(Moscow Olympics Gold Medalist) was presented with a JFHA memento by two of the youngest kids who train in academy and were ball boys during the matches, while the other guests of honor (Ashish Ballal – Olympian & Arjuna Awardee, R K Shetty – President KSHA, K Krishnamurthy – Secretary KSHA, Raman Vijayan – Former Football International & currenly Coach of South United FC, Parind – COO South United FC) were welcomed by different volunteers of the organizing committee.
Given below is the list of special prizes:
Outstanding GOALKEEPER: Manish Thapa (Rashtriya Military School) received a Helmet sponsored by Adrian D’souza along with a congratulatory note
Outstanding DEFENDER: Santosh Kumar (RDT, Anantapur) received a composite stick sponsored by Late Mr C N Murthy’s family
Outstanding MIDFEILDER: Sanjeev Kumar (Sports school Kudige) received a composite stick sponsored to Arjun Halappa along with a congratulatory note
Outstanding FORWARD: Sree Ranga (RDT, Anantapur) received a composite stick sponsored by Tushar Khandekar along with a congratulatory note
PROMISING PLAYER: Maria Peter (Maria Niketan) received a composite stick sponsored by Viren Rasquinha along with a congratulatory note
PLAYER of the TOURNAMENT: Vishal Singh (Rashtriya Military School) received a composite stick sponsored by Arockia Dass & Family (RBI)
JEWEL of the TOURNAMENT: Siva B (RDT Anantapur) received a Gold pendent etched JFHA, sponsored by Venkateshwar Laxman (Om Jewellers)
Additional special prizes:
SPARKLING PLAYER of the TOURNAMENT: Siva B(RDT,Anantpur), Sponsored by G Parimal Kumar of KSHA
Player of the TECHNICAL DELIGHT: Anil J (Maria Niketan) received a hockey stick sponsored by the technical officials of KSHA
Young STAR: Noel Romario (Maria Niketan) received a hockey stick sponsored by Nelson, Umpire KSHA
IRON WALL of Maria Niketan: Maria Peter (Maria Niketan) received a track suit sponsored by Bonny Marshal, Umpire KSHA
Govind (Maria Niketan) received a shin pad sponsored by Pradeep Maria, Umpire KSHA.
1. RDT Inclusive High School, Anantapur (Gold Medalists)
2. Rashtriya Military School (Silver Medalists)
3. Sports School Kudige (Bronze Medalists)
4. Bishop Cottons High School
5. Maria Niketan School
The results of final day:
3rd Place Play off: Sports School Kudige (3) BEAT Bishop Cottons High School (0)
Sports School Kudige: Cariappa MB (PC 24th min FG 29th min) Vijay Mahantesh (PC 26th min)
Man of the Match: Sanjeev kumar (Sports Hostel Kudige )
Final: RDT Inclusive High School, Anantapur (5) BEAT Rashtriya Military School (2)
RDT Anantapur: Sree Ranga (PC 1st 14th min) Jaswanth Y (FG 5th min) Siva (FG 11th min) Charan Kumar (PS 27th min)
Rashtriya Military School : Saikiran (FG 20th min PC 23rd min)
Man of the Match: Charan Kumar (RDT)
Jude Felix said all this was possible only due to the amazing support from the JFHA team and everyone who supported the humble cause towards reviving Hockey at Grass root level, and thanked one and all involved.