Stick for India returns to ASA after ASV Hockey Academy celebrate 10th anniversary

The Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) just concluded the 10th Anniversary celebration of its hockey academy earlier this year. And now it welcomed Andreu Enrich, the man who strengthened Hockey in Anantapur through the Stick for India project. Andreu is here to relive the 10th Anniversary celebrations and a decade long commitment to bring sports to rural India particularly Anantapur. He is doing that through the Stick for India and Hockey. Andreu spoke to us about this year’s camp and shared with us about how the 10 year celebrations have been very special. He also gave us some insights on the camp itself.

Andreu with some of the younger boys at camp

Andreu with some of the younger boys at camp

What made this year’s camp different?

The Stick for India camp structure hasn’t changed much. We trained the Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) Hockey Academy teams with a greater intensity this year. This is because we have observed that they continue to improve by leaps and bounds. However the coaching methodology and philosophy remains the same. We visited grassroot schools, played hockey games with the girls and the boys, spoke to their PE teachers and Headmasters, etc.

What did you have in mind when you brought more women coaches over this year?

The focus has always been to empower young girls through sport. We did not plan to have more women coaches this year. However, during the pre-camp period we floated a campaign to invite volunteer coaches. To our surprise, we received more applications from women coaches, and that favoured our aim at women empowerment.

The visiting Spanish coaches along with a few children from the camp

The visiting Spanish coaches along with a few children from the camp

What was your aim of the camp this year?

We received support from Sportways. Its a Dutch company that extended support to the project by providing us their coaching methodologies, modules and kit. Their philosophy to hockey is based strongly on the concept of “Fun and Learning.” We believe in the same principles. We therefore aimed to ensure that more children play the sport and enjoy doing so during this year’s Stick for India camp.

The ASA celebrated the Hockey project’s 10th anniversary, how do feel when you look back to see your involvement with the project for so many years?

I am very happy to have been part of the project. The overall progress of the program has been very satisfying as the numbers at the grassroots grow at a fair pace. This motivates me to keep moving forward. For me initially, it was only about growing the reach of my sport and working with Rural Development Trust (RDT). Now it is completely different as the project is affecting so many lives in such a positive manner.  I am just overjoyed about that fact. I do regret not being able to be there during the celebrations though but knowledge of the fact that the program celebrated its 10th year along with the opportunity I get to be here every year with all these beautiful and enthusiastic children makes me feel really wonderful.

RDT supports Hockey Andhra Pradesh by hosting the Women’s National camp at the ASV

It is not the first time that the Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) has hosted a national camp for athletes representing Andhra Pradesh. As a result, Rural Development Trust’s (RDT) Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) program continues to grow from strength to strength as an institution in itself. Simultaneously it continues to fortify a changing belief that rural India can become a hub for sporting development. With a relatively poor and desert like district of Anantapur emerging as a front runner of this changing belief and the hard work of RDT to make it a recognizable and formidable sporting destination of India standing out as an easily noticeable fact behind this.

Hockey Andhra Pradesh senior women’s team before they left for Bangalore

Hockey Andhra Pradesh senior women’s team before they left for Bangalore

This time around, amidst exams and the closure of the academic year, the ASV hosted a national level Hockey camp. This camp housed 36 young women, the finest athletes that Andhra Pradesh has to offer to the game. These young women put in their heart and soul into this preparatory camp that would lead upto the upcoming nationals. Continue reading →

1MHL visits RDT Hockey Academy

After some great hockey during this season and quite a few trophies donning the shelves, Rural Development Trust (RDT) welcomed one of their first ever guests from the Hockey loving nation of Netherlands, a renowned sports business development strategist, Rob van Nes on 12th January, 2016.

Rob displaying some of his Hockey skills before posing with the Hockey Girls from RDT Hockey Academy

Rob displaying some of his Hockey skills before posing with the Hockey Girls from RDT Hockey Academy

Rob,  with Dutch Hockey Star Floris Jan Bovelander, has co-founded a great sporting initiative that is directed towards the development of hockey at the grassroots level in India. This visionary initiative is the “One Million Hockey Legs (1MHL)” program. It is also a great platform for India & the Netherlands to build great relations and develop a better sporting infrastructure at the grassroots and business relations in India with the help of the Netherlands. Continue reading →

New Zealand’s McAleese Speaks on FIH Tournament Format and Olympic Qualification

Shea McAleese, the Black Sticks hockey player, feels FIH (International Hockey Federation) has got the structure of Hockey tournaments wrong. Double Olympian McAleese, who has represented New Zealand in 2008 and 2012 Olympics, feels the current process of Olympic qualification is bizarre and wrong.

Black Sticks Shea MaAleese scoring the opening goal against India during Hero Hockey World League Final 2014 in New Delhi

File photo: Black Sticks Shea MaAleese scoring the opening goal against India during Hero Hockey World League Final 2014 in New Delhi

Shea McAleese, nicknamed Buddha, says our [Black Sticks] fate is in our hands but what about Ireland? They were fantastic at Hockey World League Semi-Finals (WL3), yet hope that Black Sticks lose to Australia so that they qualify for Rio. Similar situation is for India women (refer embedded graphics at the end of this article)

Black Sticks midfielder McAleese also feels that World League Round 3/ Semi Finals should be played after continental championship and so on… Please read through the full text and comment, what do you feel?

Shea McAleese posted on his Facebook profile: Continue reading →

Blog: Hockey – The Ambassador of Indian Sports

Amidst the big changes in the central government, last week was also a landmark decision by Hindustan Motors to stop the production of the iconic Ambassador car. The Ambassador, the first car to be made in India has a sentimental value in the minds of a large stratum of the Indian population. Below are few lines from an online news portal about the reasons for stopping the production

Official Hindustan Ambassador cars parked outside North Block, Secretariat Building, New Delhi

Official Hindustan Ambassador cars parked outside North Block, Secretariat Building, New Delhi

‘Hindustan Motors suspended work at its Uttarpara plant outside of Kolkata because of weak demand, very low productivity, growing indiscipline, large liabilities and lack of funds’

Once the pride of Indian roads, however, it started losing its dominance since mid-1980s with the introduction of low-priced Maruti 800 by Maruti Suzuki. The Ambassador further lost its market share in India with the opening of Indian economy in 1990s. But the biggest setback it received was in 2003. In 2003, Prime Minister of India’s fleet was replaced from Ambassador to German-made BMWs. Continue reading →