Citius, Altius, Fortius. These three words defined sports in the world when they were chosen to be the Olympic motto. And the significance of this motto is greatly amplified as numerous countries the world over part take in Olympic Day celebrations on the 23rd of June every year marking the day the modern Olympic games were born.
This year however, Hockey India took special interest in the celebration of Olympic Day 2016 as India’s Women’s team has qualified for the Olympic Games after a long gap. Both India’s Women and Men’s teams will be participating alongside for the first time in 36 years. Attempting to resurrect India’s past successes in Hockey at the Olympic Games and encourage the Indian teams by promoting a nationwide support movement, Hockey India called upon all of its member units and academies.
Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) is one of the few initiatives that focusses on the equal participation of both boys and girls in sport, with hockey playing a vital role in this. Its Anantapur Sports Village Hockey Academy, (ASVHA) is the only academy to receive a Hockey India accreditation in Andhra Pradesh owing to Hockey India’s stringent accreditation guidelines. And this brings on an added responsibility of exemplifying its participation in any activity organised by Hockey India.
Therefore ASA, along with Hockey Andhra Pradesh, made its own unique contribution to support the cause of Hockey India. It organized friendly games between ASVHA and Rest of Andhra Pradesh U19 teams at the Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) for both boys and girls. This step was taken when Hockey India called on all of its member units and academies to organise tournaments and friendly games in the run up to the Olympic Day celebrations. The games would signify the teams coming forward to show their support for their national teams on this occasion.
The rest of Andhra Pradesh teams arrived on the evening of the 20th of June 2016. The boys’ teams were scheduled to play in the evening of the 21st June 2016 and the girls’ games would take place early morning on the 22nd June 2016. Both the teams came united to assert their support for Team India at the Olympics at Rio 2016, before displaying their competitive spirit during the match.
The experienced ASVHA boys took the Hockey Andhra Pradesh teams to task on their home surface, dominating possession and controlling the game on their terms for a 5-1 win over the visitors. However, a lack of experience for the ASVHA girls, most of whom joined the ASVHA only last year, showed initially as they played the game in catch up mode throughout the first half with the visitors constantly taking the lead and the hosts coming back to draw level for a half-time score of 3-3. The second half seemed similar, however the hosts dug deep for an eventual 8-6 win.
The games not only allowed these teams to keep up to the competitive spirit, but also uphold the true motive of the celebrations and their show support to both our Indian Hockey Women’s and Men’s teams to encourage them in their quest for a coveted Olympic medal.