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Dabang Mumbai interact with OTHL boys in Delhi (2/1/2015)
--K. Arumugam
New Delhi, 31st January:Over 50 budding hockey stars from the NGO, One Thousand Hockey Legs, had lifetime experience of interacting with the star-studded, and the newest of HIL Franchises, Dabang Mumbai team today at Major Dhayan Chand Stadium in New Delhi as part of their well thought out grassroot training initiative.

undefined About 50 kids, most of them from under-privilege background, got a chance to learn the nuances of top flight hockey from some of the best exponents of the game in world hockey when they attended a special clinic with Dabang Mumbai players at the Major Dhyanchand National Hockey stadium here on Saturday. Dabang Mumbai, the youngest franchise of the Hockey India League, offered the opportunity to city based NGO Hockey Citizen Group which runs its flagship program One Thousand Hockey Legs in five metro cities in India.

The players spent almost an hour with the budding stars from the NGO, One Thousand Hockey Legs, which aims to introduce the game to at least 500 school kids in every major city in the country.

Dabang Mumbai, who will have a match tomorrow (1st Feb) is committed to promoting the sport at the grass-root level apart from excelling on the field and Saturday’s endeavor was aimed at connecting with young players dreaming to become future stars of Indian hockey.

The boys were divided into five groups of ten each, and 3,4 players of DB took control of them. While one group led by David Hart played with the boys, the other one in which Chinglanesana, Anil Aldrin, coach, and Adrian D'Souza were part of engaged the boys set pieces.

Tom Boom, Santa Singh, Amit and Tyron Fereira were busy in putting through the kids in many drills, for which the kids responded well.

The event was mooted by Viren Rasquinha, mentor of Dabang Mumbai, and lapped it up by coaches Valentin and Anil Aldrin.

undefined Speaking on the occasion to NDTV Channel, young goalie Deepanshu of OTHL said: "We are excited. These are all stars we see only on television, now I can't believe we play with them".

Coach Valentin was visibily happy and expressed the view that India has many many potential players in the offing. "Volunteer organizations such as One Thousand Hockey Legs is a welcome step, and I will surely in touch with the kids in future too".

Dabang Mumbai team is owned by DoIT Sports Management Ltd, has always believed that the future of sports development in India depends largely on a “RUrban” model where the sport should not be restricted to available surfaces and conditions. On the contrary utilizing various avenues and surfaces only works towards encouraging and groom future talent.

Dabang Mumbai, who will take on Delhi Waveriders in their fourth league game on Sunday, has already undertaken some concrete steps towards development of grass-root talent in their catchment area of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. They have also joined hands with H.C Bloemendaal, Europe's one of the best club for technical partnership for the grass-root initiative. The tie up has already seen initiating Coaches and young players being trained by Dabang Mumbai players and coaching staffs.

Speaking on the occasion, DoIT Sports Management director Radha Kapoor said, "Dabang Mumbai's primary goal is to make hockey one of the most widely played sport in the country and one way of doing it is to providing budding talent an opportunity to interact with established stars and learn from them.

"We have been doing such clinics since the team gathered for the tournament and will continue this endeavour round the year," she added.

On the occasion, Adrian D'Souza said, "This was an excellent interaction with the kids and we look forward to many of such clinics.I felt great sharing my experiences with these kids and I am happy that Dabang Mumbai is taking these wonderful initiatives for the grass-root hockey."

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