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One Thousand Hockey Legs
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One Thousand Hockey Legs
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With OTHL school on New Year day (1/2/2012)
--K. Arumugam
An unexpected honour of my NGO and equally pleasant unexpected visit of an Olympian to a school which I patronize for hockey, marked my modest new year day. Not many great things to share with you all, but the narrative is to bolster myself on what I am obsessed with nowadays and will, in all likelihood, to be so in the new year too.

Indraprastha Sports Promotion Club, of which SN Sharma is the Chairman, is unknown to me till the last week. A coach attached with one of the One Thousand Hockey Legs’ project invited me to be present on new year day ‘as they wish to recognize my NGO work in Delhi’.

undefined So, early in the morning I set out to reach another part of Delhi, was there to receive a shawl and a gift on behalf of Hockey Citizen Group. World Cupper Rajesh Chauhan, founder of Jai Bharat Hockey Academy, played perfect host to me.

The venue is quite close to a school in Ashok Vihar in West Delhi, which is the furthest from my normal place of NGO activities.

This distance showed. Despite being in the Delhi’s One Thousand Hockey Legs project – my idea of introducing 500 school children in to hockey sport in each city each year - this school was the least progressed. We haven’t even invited this school team for the Delhi OTHL Cup held recently. This was not fair.

The school is ear-marked for a specific JJ Colony – meaning a cluster where poor section of people reside. We have sent so many coaches to train the boys of 6th and 7th class on working days, but somehow things did not work out.

They were given training only on Sundays on a mini-football ground owned and permitted by DDA. According to volunteer coach who trained the boys on Sundays, it was not suffice to form a strong team.

undefined He is correct. Therefore, the focus this time was on this school. All spade works were done well on time so as to utilize the unexpectedly long winter break for schools, last week of December to 15th of Jan this year.

The problem again was coaches, not many willing to come. This was big set-back. I had to overcome. Having taken all the permission to utilize the ground on the whole of winter break, and having spent so much time on mobilizing required number of boys for the special initiative, the opportunity cannot be let go just like that.

So, I turned my self a trainer for about a week before two coaches whom I have been cajoling over a week turned up on the same day.

I landed up in the school after Indraprasta Sporct Club Function. All the 27 boys including 13 new ones were there to greet me.

New Coach Sunil was hands on the job.

Soon came a call from MK Kaushik, who was also supposed to be in the earlier function and came there after I left.

I invited him to the school, as it is very near to where he was then. So, it so happened a perfect New Year Day for the boys.

They will be seeing an Olympic Gold Medalist in front.

undefined As a way of introducing the Olympian, I asked the boys which is the biggest tournament in sports.

‘ODI’, pat came a reply, the second one was heard saying ‘Commonwealth Games’.

So, the students had a lecture on what is World Cup, Olympics etc and soon it was a hockey education session.

Kaushik motivated the boys with his characteristic charm.

New coach informs us there are a couple of outstanding players here, and at least half a dozen of them could become a player of worth.

These are the words that kept ringing in my ears as I returned home after spending nearly eight hours on hockey which includes 3-4 hours on travel.

One thing is for sure: This school is no longer a weak one among the Delhi’s OTHL schools.

It is coming up in style.

With this feeling, another New year starts

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