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”

2nd Bengaluru Cup from 10th Oct and 32nd Surjit Hockey 30th Oct Onwards

The 32nd edition of the Indian Oil Surjit Hockey Tournament, will be held in Jalandhar Olympian Surjit Astroturf Hockey Stadium, Burlton Park from October 30 to November 5. And the 2nd edition of the Bengaluru Cup will be organized by Hockey Karnataka from 10th-19th October at KSHA Hockey Stadium in Bangalore.

Cricketer Rahul Dravid and Swimmer Nisha Millet with players like Nithin Thimmaiah, PL Thimmanna, PR Aiyappa, etc unveiling Karnataka XI jersey for Bengaluru Cup 2015

Cricketer Rahul Dravid and Swimmer Nisha Millet with players like Nithin Thimmaiah, PL Thimmanna, PR Aiyappa, etc unveiling Karnataka XI jersey for Bengaluru Cup 2015

After a successful first edition last year, Hockey Karnataka announced the second edition in the presence of guests of honor Rahul Dravid and Nisha Millet. The occasion also saw the unveiling of the official uniform of team Karnataka XI, by star hockey players from the state. Continue reading →

IOCL and MPHA won inaugural Bangalore Hockey Cup

BANGALORE, October 17: Domestic circuit kings Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) emerged winners of inaugural men’s Bangalore Cup 2014 All-India hockey tournament, while Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy bagged the the women’s tournament.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) champions of Bangalore Cup 2014

Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) champions of Bangalore Cup 2014

IOCL extended their dominance over Air India with a 2-0 victory to continue their dominance in domestic. MPHA edged Haryana on shoot-out 2-1 after have scores level at 3-3 after regulation time. Continue reading →

Air India in final of Bangalore Cup as IOCL beat Army XI

BANGALORE, October 16: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd edged out Army XI 2-1 in the concluding league match of 1st Bangalore Cup 2014 All-India hockey tournament, here on Thursday to record their fourth consecutive win and making way for Air India into the finals.

Jaswinder Singh (Indian Oil Corporation Limited) Indian Hockey Player

Jaswinder Singh scored the opening goal for IOCL

Going into the match, Army XI, with four points in the kitty, needed to win to join league toppers IOCL in the title round. Thus, Army XI’s defeat saw Air India, with six points, scramble into the final that will be played on Friday at 6 pm.

With this win IOCL topped the league table with 12 points, Air India finished second with six, followed by Bharath Petroleum (4), Army XI (4) and Karnataka XI (3).

IOCL, their India stars who are currently attending a National camp, scored twice in the first half as Jaswinder Singh found the net after accepting a return pass from Deepak Thakur, and then Thimmanna helped home Gagandeep Singh’s goal-bound ball. Continue reading →

Haryana and MPHA set up Women’s Final in Bangalore Cup 2014

BANGALORE, October 15: Haryana and Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy (MPHA) qualified for the women’s final with wins against Western Railway and Karnataka XI, respectively, in the first Bangalore Cup All-India hockey tournament. While in men’s competition Army XI will face IOCL tomorrow for a win to set-up final against IOCL, else Air India will face IOCL on Friday for the title.

Monika Dahiya (Indian Women Hockey Player)

Monika Dahiya scored opening goal for Haryana against Western Railway in Bangalore Cup 2014

Haryana eased past Western Railway 3-1 to record their fourth win in the six-team competition while MP Academy had to work hard for their 2-0 victory over Karnataka XI to take their tally to 10 points. Haryana and MPHA will play on Thursday to decide the top two positions in the league.

In the men’s competition, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd defeated Karnataka XI 5-1, a result that left Air India second with six points behind leaders Indian Oil (9) with Army XI (4) third. Continue reading →

IOCL beat BPCL to reach the Final of Bangalore Cup 2014

BANGALORE, October 14: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) defeated Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) 5-2 to record their third win and reached the final of inaugural Bangalore Cup 2014 All-India hockey tournament.

Gurjinder Singh (Indian Oil Corporation Limited)

Gurjinder Singh scorred 2 goals for  Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)

For IOCL who led 3-1 at the break, Gurjinder Singh converted two penalty corners on either side of a Deepak Thakur goal and Prabhjot Singh struck twice late in the game while BPCL’s reply came from penalty corners through Gurpreet Singh, who later failed with a penalty stroke, and Tushar Khandekar.

The victory took IOCL’s tally to nine points in the five-team men’s competition while BPCL have lost two of their three matches and drawn the other. Continue reading →