One Million Hockey Legs to strengthen its ties with Anantapur

OMHL trainers interacting with ASA hockey players in 2016

OMHL trainers interacting with ASA hockey players in 2016

Rob van Nes, International Business Development Head, One Million Hockey Legs (OMHL) visited Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) to meet Program Director Moncho Ferrer and other hockey officials to oversee and strengthen their partnership with the ASA Hockey Program.

The One Million Hockey Legs project started back in 2015 with the likes of Floris Jan Bovelander and other Olympians on its executive board.  It aims to reach one million young hockey players by 2018 Hockey World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar, India and increase the participation of rural youth by providing them with necessary training. With this aim, they collaborated with ASA which has a long history of promoting hockey in Anantapur district, Andhra Pradesh. OMHL wants to leave its impression in the Indian hockey legacy and strengthen the relationship between India and Netherlands.

“India can be world champion any day. We need to start from every home as parents need to understand the importance of sports; sports and education can go hand in hand. The skills like team spirit, hard work, communication can be learnt from sports which goes a long way in life”, says Rob van Nes.

Coach education is an important aspect of sport development, as to have a wider impact, the dissemination of knowledge of the game among the grassroots is essential. Many places in India lack infrastructural and up-to-date coach education at local and regional grassroots level which has decreased the number of children playing hockey. India with its 1.3 billion population has only 50,000 hockey players left whereas Netherlands, much smaller in population, has 2.5 lakh players.

“ASA has been promoting sports for many years and is providing good training cum residential facilities for talented athletes. I feel happy to be a part of this project and to help in the promotion of hockey in Anantapur. Wisse and Roderique, the trainers from OMHL who were in ASA in January 2017 for training were surprised to see the vigor and talent ASA hockey players possessed. Other OMHL partners in Jamshedpur, Delhi and Punjab are also doing quite well. Our aim is to spread the hockey culture in the grassroots and simultaneously provide high performance training to athletes who are doing well”, says Rob van Nes.

Rob van Nes meeting Program Director Moncho Ferer and other hockey officials.

Rob van Nes meeting Program Director Moncho Ferrer and other hockey officials.

Vijay Babu, Secretary of Hockey Anantapur said, “ASA plans to conduct a hockey  festival/championship in partnership with One Million Hockey Legs with the objective of increasing the participation in rural Anantapur as well as providing with high performance training to boys and girls of the academy”.

India were the first host nation to win the Hockey Junior World Cup 2016 and a little over a year from now,  Odisha would host the 14th edition of the Men’s Hockey World Cup. It would be interesting to see how Indian hockey team performs in the World Cup. OMHL’s effort towards developing the sport at the grassroots will go a long way in helping to achieve results at the international level in the future

ASA concludes All India Hockey Academies Championship 2017

RDT Hockey Academy after winning the championship.

RDT Hockey Academy after winning the championship.

The first ever Fr. Vincent Ferrer All India Invitation Hockey Academies Championship came to an end here in Anantapur Sports Village (ASV). The championship was organised by Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) in partnership with Hockey Anantapur. The championship was held over six days beginning on 29th May 2017 and for the first time a hockey championship in Anantapur was presided by Hockey India officials. 11 Hockey Academies from various regions of India participated in this All India Hockey Academies Championship for (U-21).

11 teams were divided into four pools and each team had to play once against each other in their pool during the group stages.  The usual suspects who performed well in the group stages were there in the semi-finals. TN Hockey Academy (Chennai), Dhyan Chand Hockey Academy (Guntur), One Thousand Hockey Legs (Delhi) and Rural Development Trust(RDT) Hockey Academy (Anantapur) were the teams in the semis. TN Hockey Academy knocked out Dhyan Chand Hockey Academy (Guntur) to seal their spot in the finals.And Dhyan Chand Hockey Academy (Guntur) were placed third in the championship after playing against One Thousand Hockey Legs (Delhi) who looked fiercely in the beginning.

The players in action.

The final match between TN Hockey Academy and RDT Hockey Academy was going toe-to-toe with equal chances given the fact that both had shown good maneuvering and tactical skills throughout the championship. Both teams were good at defense which kept the score board idle.

Eventually, in the 25th minute with Tamil Nadu giving away a penalty corner, Sandeep Kumar of the RDT Hockey Academy made use of the opportunity and scored a goal to break the deadlock. The second goal wasn’t far behind too, Charan Kumar scored a field goal in the 27th minute.

It was turning out to be an unexpected one sided match as the ball possession was mostly with RDT and they limited the TN Hockey Academy team to defense before the halftime. Few minutes into the second half saw one more goal from Sandeep Kumar helping RDT Hockey Academy to gain a comfortable lead of 3-0.

1 2With the blow of the final whistle, there was a loud cheer from the home crowd and supporters ran towards the winning team with RDT Hockey Academy winning the maiden Fr. Vincent Ferrer Hockey Academies Championship 2017. The player of the match for all matches were felicitated with hockey sticks.

BJ Kariappa, the Hockey India Manager High Performance (South India) who was in Anantapur Sports Academy said that the championship was a good opportunity for the players to showcase their skills and the coaches to see the growth in their players. He also felt that there was a great potential in the players and if they continue with the same spirit, they could surely excel at national and international level.

Hockey India organizes an Umpire Seminar in Anantapur

Hockey India and Hockey Andhra Pradesh, aiming to strengthen the technical department in Andhra Pradesh, with the support of Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA), organized a two day Hockey Umpire and Technical Officials Seminar in Anantapur Sports Village (ASV), Andhra Pradesh. Hockey India stalwarts including internationally renowned hockey umpire, RV Raghuprasad, Manager Technical and Development and BJ Kariappa, Manager High Performance (South India) led the two day seminar on the 15th and 16th March, 2017.

RV Raghuprasad delivering the seminar, Anantapur Sports Village.

RV Raghuprasad delivering the seminar, Anantapur Sports Village.

A total of 28 aspiring umpires from both the Telugu speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, alongside ASA’s senior hockey girls and boys attended the seminar. The participants were excited to attend the seminar delivered by RV Raghuprasad, the golden whistle recipient from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for officiating 100 international matches, which includes the 2014 Hockey World Cup, 2012 London Olympics and Men’s Junior World Cup 2013, to name a few. It was equally motivating for the participants to be in the presence of BJ Kariappa, who came to Anantapur after helping Kalinga Lancers to win the championship in the recently concluded Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) 2017.

The seminar was designed to train the participants in the basic concepts of umpiring, including umpire roles and responsibilities, applying the basic hockey rules followed by a few fundamental concepts related to positioning during the various phases of the game, but not limited to penalty corners and penalty strokes. The participants were also taken through the signals and were offered a detailed explanation which would help their decision making on the turf with regards to offering advantage, giving cards, etc.

Alongside the theoretical concepts, Raghuprasad ensured the participants were supported by practical learning as well.  The participants were divided into groups and each group was given a specific situation that might arise during a game and were allowed time to discuss among themselves. Later, the group members presented their explanation to the remaining groups regarding their umpiring decision pertaining to that situation. On both the days, participants were taken to the hockey ground to put their learning to test.

Group picture of all participants along with trainers from Hockey India

All participants along with trainers from Hockey India

Raghuprasad, upon being asked about their objective behind holding the seminar and participants response, said “Our sole objective was to share our knowledge with the upcoming umpires in India and strengthen our technical department of hockey umpiring. Using these seminars, we would like to encourage youth to take up hockey umpiring as a career and identify the ambitious youth. Initially, the participants were a bit hesitant but by the end of the seminar we have seen a gradual progress with regards to their contribution within the seminar.”

Vijay Babu, Secretary of Hockey Anantapur and an avid supporter of ASA’s hockey program, which recently celebrated 10 years of developing lives through hockey in Anantapur, mentioned, “We would like to improve the standard of umpiring in the lower level competitions. Also, with the gradual downfall in the number of registered women as umpires in India, we are keen on promoting girls to take up umpiring as a career. We would like to thank RV. Raghuprasad, BJ Kariappa, G. Harsha Vardhan, Chairman – Technical Committee, Hockey Andhra Pradesh and Anantapur Sports Academy for organizing this seminar and we are already planning on organizing more seminars in the coming future.”

ASV Hockey Academy celebrates Olympic Day to support Hockey India as they qualify for Rio 2016

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.

ASVHA girls put the ‘Rest of Andhra Pradesh’ goalkeeper to the test

ASVHA girls put the ‘Rest of Andhra Pradesh’ goalkeeper to the test

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.

Tri-coloured ASVHA boys moving goalwards during their clash with the ‘Rest of Andhra Pradesh’

Tri-coloured ASVHA boys move goalwards during their clash with the ‘Rest of Andhra Pradesh’

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.

ASVHA girls flaunt their tri-colored jerseys with a ‘Thumbs Up’ in support for the Indian Hockey teams at Rio 2016

ASVHA girls flaunt their tri-colored jerseys with a ‘Thumbs Up’ to support the Indian Hockey teams for Rio 2016

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.

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 →

Schedule and Result: 12th South Asian Games (Men & Women Hockey)

12th South Asian Games (Men & Women Hockey)

South Asian Games Logo 2016Venue: Moullana Md. Tayabullah Hockey Stadium, Bhetapara, Guwahati
Dates: 5th to 16th February, 2016

Participating teams in Hockey (7th to 12th February, 2016):
Men’s Teams: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Women’s Teams: India, Nepal, Sri Lanka

Detailed Schedule and Result of 12th South Asian Games Hockey Competitions (Men and Women): Continue reading →