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.