ASA Hockey Academy celebrates 10 years of developing lives through Hockey

Anantapur finally managed to see some showers ahead of the 8th Father Vincent Ferrer Memorial Hockey Championship 2016. Resultantly experiencing pleasant weather to welcome the championship that would celebrate 10 years of Rural Development Trust’s (RDT) Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) Hockey Academy. Celebrations that marked 10 years of the ASA Hockey Academy’s promoting India’s national sport among the rural youth to educate and develop them and affect a sporting cultural change in the region.

Teams arrived at the Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) on the 3rd June 2016 and got down to acclimatizing to the relatively warmer weather of Anantapur despite the rains. The tournament took shape with 14 teams, around 230 of the finest athletes in South India contesting for the honour of having the Father Vincent Ferrer Memorial Hockey Championship trophy don their cabinets.

RDT Executive Director, Anne Ferrer welcoming teams with inspiring words

RDT Executive Director, Anne Ferrer welcoming teams with inspiring words

The championship began with RDT Executive Director, Anne Ferrer encouraging the young athletes with warm words and later declaring the championship open on the evening of the 4th June 2016. This marked the beginning of the league stages of the championship.

Eight boys’ and six girls’ teams made up the roster. The boys’ competition set between Jude Felix Hockey Academy (JFHA), Bangalore, RV Academy, Chennai, Medical College, Chennai, Sports Club, Kovilpatti, G.V.G. Udumalpet, RDT Anantapur, RDT Dharmavaram and hosts RDT’s ASA Hockey Academy. The girls’ competition on the other hand was contested between RGV Kovilpatti, GVGW Udumalpet, Department of Youth Services and Sports (DYSS) Mysore & Bangalore, JFHA Bangalore and hosts ASA Hockey Academy.

The championship followed a league cum knockout structure with both the boys and girls split into two pools. Each team would play their pool contenders once with the top two teams in each pool advancing to the semi-finals where they would face-off in a knockout setting to make their way to the trophy.

Images from the action packed League stages

Images from the action packed League stages

The league stages came off quite hard fought, with quite a few of the games going down to the wire, being decided in the dying minutes. The boys’ competition came through after some intense games with the semi-finals eventually seeing R.V. Academy and RDT Dharmavaram from Pool A and ASA Hockey Academy and JFHA Bangalore from Pool B, whereas the girls’ competition saw DYSS Mysore and RGV Kovilpatti from Pool A and ASA Hockey Academy and GVGW Udumalpet from Pool B.

A tooth and nail effort saw RDT Dharmavaram and JFHA end the first semi-final with 3 goals each. Nerves were tested as the teams took to a nail biting shoot-out. Where both teams drew again at 3 a piece in their stipulated 5 shootouts going into sudden death for a result. JFHA goalkeeper fouled Dharmavaram player in his sudden death shootout attempt leading to a penalty stroke, later silencing the supporting Anantapur crowd to take the JFHA boys to the final with a 2-1 sudden death score to play the hosts ASA Hockey Academy who convincingly defeated RV Academy 3-0 in their semi-final. The ASA Hockey Academy girls controlled every moment of their 8-1 semi-final win over RGV Kovilpatti while DYSS Mysore managed a 3-0 win over GVGW Udumalpet to arrive into the finals.

The finals were decided with overwhelming wins. The Boys final saw hosts ASA Hockey Academy dominate proceedings right from the start to beat JFHA 5-0. While the girls competition closed as ASA Hockey Academy went into half time being one goal down, eventually conceding two more for a 3-0 scoreline losing to DYSS Mysore.

 Shots from the Finals


Shots from the Finals

Hockey Anantapur Secretary M H Vijayababu shared, “We have grown greatly throughout this eventful decade with just one hockey summer camp organized with Spanish players Andreu Enrich and Santi Freixa back in 2006 to now having close to 1700 children play hockey throughout the district. As for our teams in the championship, it was only a matter of experience that made the difference. Our boys have been in the academy for a couple of years now and their teams had some favourable playing time before this championship at national level tournaments in Nagpur and Kovilpatti. Most of the girls however have been with the academy only this year and are relatively inexperienced, but have played exceptionally to reach the finals and their performance despite the lack of experience was fulfilling. We only look forward to having a more competitive infrastructure for the future, continue to grow and develop these children and more throughout the hockey program with more of them being able to secure jobs through their influence on the field much like many of their predecessors who now serve in the Police, the Army and as PE Teachers”

Australia and Netherlands top FIH World Hockey Rankings, India 9th

Good performances at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup means Argentina men’s team and the USA women’s team climb FIH World Hockey rankings

FIH World Hockey Rankings June 2014

FIH World Hockey Rankings June 2014

The latest FIH (International Hockey Federation) men’s and women’s world rankings have been released today following the conclusion of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. The winners of both the Men’s and Women’s World Cup – Australia and the Netherlands – have maintained their positions at the top of the FIH World Hockey Rankings. Continue reading →

Finally, issue resolved! Govt recorgnises Hockey India

Finally, the decision has been taken and Hockey India has been recognised by Govt of India as National Sports Federation (NSF) for the sport of Hockey (Men’s and Women’s).

Hockey India LogoThe long pending issue of governing body of Hockey in India, which was affecting the sport in the country, is now settled. This decision of government is expected to have a positive impact on the promotion and development of National Sport of India i.e. Hockey.

According to a press release by Hockey India, it’s a moment of ecstasy for them today as they have finally been assigned the responsibility of promoting Hockey in India. Government of India through Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports recognized Hockey India as the sole body responsible towards promotion of sport in national and international arena. Continue reading →

IOA’s 3-Members Committee to decide: Who will govern the Hockey in India?

A 3-members committee, headed by former Wrestling Federation of India President G S Mander along with Indian Weightlifting Federation chief Birendra Prasad Baishya and Handball Federation of India Secretary General S M Bali, was set up by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) to decide on who should run the game in the country out of the two warring bodies — Hockey India (HI) or Indian Hockey Federation (IHF).

Indian Hockey Federation Logo

Hockey India Logo

The committee, which was formed a month ago under the directive of International Hockey Federation (FIH), has received the views of HI and IHF in writing and will hear their representatives on August 21.  Report of the committee will be submitted to the IOA and FIH before 31 August 2012.

The tussle between HI and IHF is long-standing, even after many rounds of talks with intervention of sports ministry and IOA. Continue reading →

Hockey Dispute Discussed in Rajya Sabha (Parliament)

I happy to know that some body at least somebody asked question on Hockey in Rajya Sabha, though it is on dispute instead of development and Ajay Maken, Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs & Sports replied to the question asked by Om Prakash Mathur in writing which is reproduced below from pib.nic.in:

Dispute in Hockey Associations

The Government has been making efforts to facilitate an amicable settlement between Hockey India (HI) and Indian hockey Federation (IHF). As part of this process, IHF and HI have agreed to an administrative arrangement to jointly discharge the responsibilities of the national sports federation for hockey in India pending resolution of various disputes between the two bodies. The salient features of the proposed arrangement are as follows:- Continue reading →

Joint Executive Board of HI & IHF = National Sports Federation for Hockey

As per a 25-July, 2011 press release from Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt of India, “In a significant way forward, Indian Hockey Federation (I.H.F) & Hockey India (H.I) today came together to sign an agreement leading upto formation of a joint executive board which shall perform the function of the National Sports Federation for Hockey. ”

Indian Hockey Federation

Indian Hockey Federation

Is it a really way forward, may not be, as K Arumugam of stick2hockey.com writes the facts which may have been ignored by most of columnists, “Whether we add medals to our kitty or not, whether we add quality players to our national team or not, we are adept at adding organizations. Indian Hockey Confederation (2000), IHF since long, to Ad-Hoc committee (2008) to Hockey India (2009) and then now (2011) now a neo-avtar, Joint Executive Board (JEB). ” (read the full article here)

But, as every other Indian Hockey follower, I am also very happy to see the progress and hopeful that the day, when IHF is back in the thick of action of Indian Hockey, will be the turning point for Indian Hockey. I have written down salient points of the deal between IHF and HI as published by Indian Express and are given below in the current article. I am also helpful that the deal will help in the smooth organization of the first edition of World Series Hockey, an annual hockey league by IHF and Nimbus Sport, which will be another mile stone for Indian Hockey. Continue reading →