All the news for Wednesday 5 August 2015
Indian hockey team eyes clean sweep against France
WATTIGNIES: Following their 2-0 win in their first outing, the Indian hockey team is geared up to take on France at the Wattignies Sports Centre here on Wednesday in their second and last match before they head to Spain.
In Monday's game, India dominated the match and outplayed France in all departments. They will continue their attacking strategy and look for early goals to keep up the pressure on the hosts. The forward line, led by the experienced S.V. Sunil, displayed a brilliant performance as they pushed the French defenders throughout the first match. Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Mandeep Singh continuously attacked and played out most of the match in the opponents' half.
The forwards were given good support from the midfield where captain Sardar Singh played a crucial role. "The first win was very important for our team and our players who are motivated with the result. We played as per our coach's game plan and got good results," said Sardar. "We are trying out some new things and there are areas where we have to perform better in the next match. France may come out stronger this time with better strategies but we are ready to face them."
Chinglensana Singh, who scored the first goal, S.K. Uthappa, Danish Mujtaba, Devindar Walmiki and youngster Satbir Singh will continue with the strategy of controlling the midfield. India successfully held its goal post with their strong defense line which includes Birendra Lakra, V.R. Raghunath, Kothajit Singh, Gurjinder Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh.
The French attackers found it difficult to convert their opportunities. Though they managed to earn few penalty corners, but all were thwarted by India's world-class goalie P.R. Sreejesh. "The first match was very good and we played as per our strategies. The players displayed a good performance and controlled the match perfectly. We tried out some new strategies and team combinations which yielded us positive results," India chief coach Roelant Oltmans said.
"Young players also successfully implemented the strategies on the field and helped the team to maintain ball possession. We will continue our attacking game plan in the next match also and try some new things. We are not taking France lightly at all and we will play with full force tomorrow."
The Times of India
Fulton names his squad for Dutch series
Coach Craig Fulton has announced his squad for Ireland’s 2 test matches against The Netherlands this week. Ireland will face the Netherlands, world number 2, twice in 3 days as preparation for the Eurohockey Championships moves up another gear.
The Netherlands have already qualified for the Rio Olympics by finishing third in World League Buenos Aires and will be the highest ranked team at the Eurohockey Championships in London (August 21st-30th). The Green Machine will compete at the Euro’s in London from August 22nd – 29th, a tournament that sees 4 of the world’s top 5 teams take to the pitch along with Ireland, Spain, Russia and France.
Speaking about this week’s high quality Dutch opposition, Coach Fulton said “ The two games we playing against the Dutch will be our first games post WL3 in Antwerp. This phase of matches is important in the build up to the Euros and no better opposition than the Dutch to start our preparations. We have been training as a squad for the last 2 weeks and guys are keen to get playing test match hockey again”
Match on Friday August 7th will be played at hockey club Hoorn at 18.30 hrs.
Match on Sunday August 9th will be played at hockey club Almere at 13.00 hrs.
1.Mathew Bell- Banbridge
2.Jonny Bruton- Three Rock
3.Drew Carlisle- Banbridge
4.Peter Caruth- Monkstown
5.Chris Cargo- Racing
6.Mitch Darling- Three Rock
7. David Fitzgerald- Monkstown
8.Paul Gleghorne- Lisnagarvey
9.Kyle Good- Dragons
10.Ronan Gormley- Krefeld
Conor Harte- Racing
12.David Harte- Kampong
13.John Jackson- Reading
14. Stuart Loughrey- Cannock
15.Owen Magee- Banbridge
16.Shane O’Donoghue- Dragons
17.Michael Robson- Annadale
18.Kirk Shimmins- UCD
19.Alan Sothern- Racing
Irish Hockey Association media release
One year out from the Rio Olympics
Today is the one year countdown till the start of the 2016 Olympic Games.
The Black Sticks Women's fourth place at the World League Semi-Final booked them a spot in Rio. The Black Sticks Men are needing to beat Australia, Fiji and Samoa at the Oceania Cup in Stratford (Taranaki) at the end of October.
Around the world, New Zealand athletes aiming to become part of New Zealand’s biggest Olympic Games team will be feeling the focus shift towards the deadline ahead.
Chef de Mission Rob Waddell says the milestone is crucial.
“It’s when the blowtorch really comes on,” said the gold medal winning Olympic rower.
“Suddenly everyone is talking about the Olympic Games and it’s a time when New Zealand athletes will be asking themselves some pretty hard questions.
“They’ll be asking right now, ‘Am I ready? Have I done everything I can?’”
As the 365 day countdown is reached, indications are positive for the performance of the New Zealand Olympic Team in Rio.
Planning and preparations for the team are well progressed and strong results from international world cup and world championship results point to a record number of athletes being eligible for selection to the team.
“We could have a team of more than 200 athletes,’ he said. “That’s significantly more than London and Beijing. Rugby 7s and golf are new to the Olympic programme and that is good news for New Zealand.
“Right now our top athletes are performing at a very high level. International results over the past year indicate we are on track to exceed the London 2012 tally of 13 medals, with a realistic chance of meeting High Performance Sport New Zealand's target of 14 medals.”
Alongside athlete preparations, the New Zealand Olympic Committee is also working with Olympic organisers and New Zealand sports organisations to ensure athletes have the best possible conditions to perform and excel at the Olympic Games.
“We’ve secured favourable athlete accommodation and we're developing high performance systems that will help our athletes achieve,”
An innovative high performance preparation and recovery centre in the village is a focus for the team.
“We trialled the performance centre at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Rio will be the next step in the development of this area,” said Waddell.
Venue and infrastructure construction continue to be monitored by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.
“Olympic Park is now well progressed and we have confidence in the Rio Organising Committee’s ability to deliver a great Olympic Games.”
The New Zealand Olympic Committee is marking the milestone with the launch of its Be the Inspiration campaign and digital video hub. The hub features rare footage and historic Olympic moments. The Prime Minister’s Olympic Gala fundraising dinner at the Auckland Viaduct Events Centre also takes place this evening.
The Rt Hon John Key, Rob Waddell and Kereyn Smith will be joined by athletes DJ Forbes (rugby sevens), Anita Punt (hockey), David Nyika (boxing) and others at the black-tie function.
Punt is looking forward to the challenge of another Olympic Campaign and marking the one year to go milestone.
“It’s now that the excitement which has been building throughout the Olympic cycle really starts to lift. The next 12 months will fly by and it’s important that we stay on track to deliver our best performance in Rio” said Punt.
“It seems like only yesterday we were in London. As a team we’re really happy with our progress and results so far and our preparation is tracking well for 2016.”
Rob Waddell and some of the Olympic leadership team will head to Rio de Janeiro at the end of this week for a site visit in the Olympic host city, coinciding with a number of test events and the critical one year out Chefs de Mission Seminar.
The Rio Olympic Games take place 5 – 21 August 2016
Hockey New Zealand Media release
One year to Rio: The team player - Stacey Michelsen
By Dylan Cleaver
New Zealand's coach Mark Harger comforts Stacey Michelsen on the turf at Glasgow National Hockey Centre after losing their semi-final match against England. Photo / Greg Bowker
It is not a topic you have to dance around with Stacey Michelsen. She's quite happy to confront the fact the Black Sticks women are starting to generate an unenviable record of falling short of the podium in big tournaments.
The 24-year-old is gaining a reputation as one of the world's best players and coach Mark Hager likened her to recently retired Argentine superstar Luciana Aymar, but the Auckland-based Northlander knows that to cement her place among the true greats, she's going to have to be on a team that wins medals.
Micheslen says she is honoured to be even "remotely" compared to Aymar, but as yet lacks her ability to change the course of a game through skill and sheer force of personality. She also lacks Aymar's consistency.
"That is something I need to work on," Michelsen says.
You could say the same for the whole team. A typical tournament of late means flying through pool play, losing a semifinal heartbreaker then playing like zombies in the third-fourth or bronze playoff match.
"It frustrates the hell out of us. I'm not sure what it is, whether it's mental or whether on the day we're just nor fronting up and playing good enough hockey. It's something that will be a huge focus heading into Rio. We consistently don't win our final games at tournaments.
"Coming fourth is a horrible feeling."
Even more cruelly, the team, and Michelsen along with them, is becoming known for blowing penalty shootouts.
"I think scarred is a good word," she says. "I missed at Comm Games, I missed at Champions Trophy and I missed at the World League III. That's three in a row now so yeah, I've lost some confidence."
The team will be seeking psychological help to overcome that barrier, with Michelsen saying she viewed it as no different to using a strength-and-conditioning coach in an effort to be the best.
It seems unjust in many ways to frame the Michelsen story with such a negative proposition because there is very little the defender, who is "transitioning into a midfield role", has done wrong in a stellar start to her career.
But the fact is, she wants to be the very best. It's what she's been working for, it seems, her whole life.
Michelsen grew up on a lifestyle block just north of Whangarei into a hockey-mad family.
Mum, Barbara, played, as did two elder sisters Marcie and Carli, who was a junior Black Stick herself.
Michelsen's competitiveness shone through immediately and she was part of a Northland under-13 team that won back-to-back Collier Trophies, beating the more established hockey powers of Canterbury and Auckland.
In fact, that era of Northland hockey has thrown out some unbelievable talent per capita, most of whom passed through the gates of Kamo Intermediate.
Before Michelsen there was Suzie Muirhead and Lizzie Igasan, both national captains, and since then the Harrison sisters Charlotte and Samantha, Anna Thorpe, Alana Millington, Laura Douglas, Jan Rowsell, Ella Gunson and Jasmin McQuinn.
"We had amazing facilities and awesome, dedicated coaches - Angeline Waetford and Grant McLeod - who drove the programme.
This group didn't just win trophies for Northland age-group teams, they drove each other towards their stated ambition of becoming Black Sticks. There was no false modesty; they had seen what the rest of the country could offer and knew they were capable.
"As soon as I reached high school it was something I was very, very serious about. By high school I knew that if I worked hard I had the ability to make it," Michelsen says.
And work hard they did. Spare time was spent at the turf. Teacher-only days were spent at the turf.
"It was just what we did in Whangarei."
Michelsen left her friends and family for the final two years of high school, which was spent on a hockey scholarship at St Cuthbert's in Auckland, where she came under the tutelage of legendary Black Stick Tina Bell-Kake, still regarded by many as New Zealand's greatest player.
By 2009 she was in the national team and has been a fixture since.
Stacey Michelsen is now regarded as one of the best players in the world. She will end up with a double-degree in law and commerce and eventually sees herself living on a lifestyle block near Whangarei, working with the next generation of Northland hockey stars.
But to be truly satisfied, there's one thing she needs.
"I would have an Olympic medal in a nice cabinet in my house."
The New Zealand Herald
Hockey eyes new challenge
THE Fiji national hockey team after winning gold medal in the Pacific Games have a hectic season ahead.
The side has a good chance of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
Coach Hector Smith said there would be number of challenges for the team from other competitive countries.
"We are having the Oceania Championship and we are preparing for that championship," he said.
"That is the qualifiers for the Rio Olympics. So we are up against Australia and New Zealand.
"Australia is the world champions while New Zealand is ranked sixth in the world."
The side has improved a lot according to Smith considering Fiji's last win in the Pacific Game was in 1979.
The championship will be held in New Zealand in late October with number of teams participating.
"In the women's it is very much same.
"There are indications that Papua New Guinea and Samoa would be there taking part so that is a challenge."
The Fiji Times
Women's Camp with 48 probable commences
New Delh: With renewed energy after being close to get Rio, the Indian Women team are now assembling for the Preparatory Camp in New Delhi.
The camp is scheduled from 8th to 31st August 2015. The Camp also includes young talent who made a mark for themselves during the 5th Hockey India Women National Championship held earlier this year.
48 players will be part of the coaching camp where they will be trained under Chief Coach, Mathias Ahrens for one week and post that the top 33 core probable’s will be selected who will continue with the camp till 31st August 2015. The 48-players consist of 8 goalkeepers, 13 defenders, 10 midfielders and 17 forwards.
The players will work on their skills and team coordination for the upcoming tournaments that are scheduled in the next one year.
Commenting on the Training Camp, Indian Women Team Chief Coach Mathias Ahrens said, “The Team has performed very well in the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final 2015. They got a good opportunity to play against the best hockey teams in the world and the experience derived will be important for the girls for upcoming tournaments. We faced a few issues in some areas during the tournament and this preparatory camp will give us ample time to work on the grey areas. We will work on defence and penalty corners, the areas where the team faced troubles during the tournament. The Camp will also see some young talents and we will train them along with the senior players”.
The list of 48 Women Core Probable’s Team
2. Yogita Bali
3. Rajani Etimarpu
4. Pallavi Singh
5. Sukhmani Virk
6. Kirandeep Kaur
7. Krupa Atulbhai Patel
9. Manjit Kaur
10. Sunita Lakra
12. Sushila Chanu Pukhrmbam
13. Jaspreet Kaur
14. Ponnamma M.N
15. Namita Toppo
16. Deep Grace Ekka
17. Gurjit Kaur
18. Pinki Thockhom
19. Romita Devi Thokchom
20. Archana Singh
21. Razia Khatoon
22. Lily Chanu Mayengbam
23. Renuka Yadav
24. Ritu Rani
25. Lilima Minz
26. Navjot Kaur
28. Sneha Pawar
29. Manmeet Kaur
30. Etwari Mundu
31. Manisha Sharma
32. Navneet Kaur
34. Poonam Rani
35. Vandana Katariya
36. Anupa Barla
37. Amandeep Kaur
38. Anuradha Devi Thokchom
39. Ritusha Kumari Arya
40. Punam Barla
41. Soundarya Yendala
42. Ranjita Sanasam
43. Jaswinder Kaur
44. Hardeep Kaur
45. Nikki Pradhan
46. Shivani Singh
47. Sabnam Lakra
48. Ramngaihzuali R
Mumbai hockey on success path: Yuvraj Walmiki
By Ashwin Ferro
India striker Yuvraj Walmiki during a training session at the MHA Stadium in Churchgate
With three players in the Junior national setup and two in the senior team, India striker Yuvraj Walmiki says grass is green for city hockey
India hockey striker Yuvraj Walmiki has nothing to do with the upcoming Mumbai Hockey Association elections (August 12). In fact, surprisingly, he does not even hold a membership with the city hockey's ruling body.
Probably that's the reason he comes up with one of the most neutral opinions in the run-up to the elections, where the incumbent body led by president Manga Singh Bakshi and secretary Ram Singh Rathore is being challenged by a rival faction led by Olympians Gurbax Singh Grewal, Joaquim Carvalho and Merwyn Fernandis among others.
"To me, as a player, it does not matter who wins or loses in this election.
I'm not in support of the ruling body or against the Olympians. What matters to me is that Mumbai hockey does well and to be honest, the current body has not done a bad job," Walmiki, who suffered an injury during India's recent 2-2 draw with Pakistan in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Belgium and so missed out on the national team's current Europe tour (France & Spain), told mid-day yesterday.
Mumbai hockey has always contributed handsomely to the national setup in the past. However, there was a lull in between with Yuvraj being the only Mumbai player in Team India. Currently though, Mumbai's representation in the national team is on the rise and Yuvraj attributes this to the MHA.
Three cheers for city hockey: Mumbai lads Suraj Karkera (left), Karan Thakur and Rajat Sharma (right) are in the India U-21 probables for the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia
"The Bombay Republicans team is Mumbai hockey's nursery and the current MHA body has been very kind to the Republicans boys by offering them free access to the turf which otherwise costs R2000 to R3000 per hour. Over the last couple of years, I've been training with this group of 20-25 youngsters, between 15-25 years of age at the city turf for free, four times a week, and the results are there for all to see.
Three boys — goalkeepers Suraj Karkera, Karan Thakur and forward Rajat Sharma — are in the India U-21 probables for the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia. Besides, Devinder (Yuvraj's younger brother) also got his India jersey this year. So many Mumbai boys would not have been part of Team India if the game was not being run properly in the city."
Finally, the 25-year-old is hopeful that the rival faction can work in tandem with the ruling MHA body. "It would be great to see the Olympians also join in the administrative set-up as their knowledge of the game is unparalleled. They can help restore Mumbai hockey's glory years."
The sky’s the limit for Malaysian umpire Eric Koh
Whether it’s international umpiring duties or doing the ‘day job’, Eric Koh is flying high
Malaysian umpire Eric Koh is aiming high in international hockey
A few years ago Eric Koh had two dreams: the first was to fly planes all over the world; the second was to umpire at the two flagship events for hockey – the Olympic Games and the World Cup.
Proudly wearing his pilot’s stripes on his shoulder, Koh has achieved the first of those dreams and, after a successful umpiring stint at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Antwerp, Belgium, he is a step closer to achieving the second.
The 29-year-old Malaysian, who is currently a Grade One International Umpire, cites renowned international umpire Amarjit Singh as his role model and inspiration.
Singh has umpired more than 150 international matches, including four World Cups and three Olympic Games and was the first umpire from Malaysia to receive the FIH Golden Whistle for 100 senior international matches.
“Every umpire in Malaysia wants to emulate Amarjit and I am now two steps away from reaching the highest level in umpiring, the FIH World Panel,” says Koh, in an interview with Malaysia’s national online news service, Mail Online.
The ability to travel the world has driven him in both his career choice and his umpiring ambitions. Koh played hockey as a youngster, representing the state team at various junior levels.
His moment of hockey playing glory came in 2003 when he was selected for the national under-18 team, but the SARS virus meant the upcoming international tournament was cancelled.
This was a watershed moment for Koh as he realised that to make it to the very top in hockey, he needed to take a different route. He took up umpiring in 2002 and first umpired overseas in Canberra, Australia in 2009.
It was a similar story with his piloting career. Koh first applied to be a cadet with Malaysia Airlines but wasn’t accepted on the course. He took another route, successfully applying for a degree course in civil engineering, from where he transferred to become a pilot.
He graduated with top marks, winning the Best Overall Cadet award. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 2009 and then joined Etihad Airways – the United Arab air service based in Dubai – in August 2014. He now flies Boeing 777 aircraft.
Koh laughs when asked about balancing his life and keeping his feet on the ground. “Yes, balancing has always been a challenge. My department has been quite supportive and always tries its best to accommodate my requests for annual leave and days off. Also, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation has been quite understanding when I had to turn town certain appointments due to my work. But the biggest sacrifice is spending most weekends, annual leave and days off umpiring, not with family and friends.”
With both his flying and umpiring career taking off, Koh has been living his dream of travelling the world. Among his international umpiring appointments in the past three years have been: the South Asian Games, Dhaka 2010; World League Round One, Singapore 2012; EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy, Lille 2012; World League Round Three, Johor 2013; the Junior World Cup in Delhi in 2013; and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
In Antwerp, at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, Koh umpired the third place match between India and Great Britain. His performance in that game was more than enough to suggest that this is a young man with the world at his feet.
Hockeyroos in mud rush to help
Hockeyroos Anna Flanagan, Rachael Lynch, Georgie Parker and Amelia Spence getting in some training for this year's Mudd Rush event. Picture: Michael O'Brien /The West Australian
As elite athletes, the Hockeyroos are used to enduring tough conditions.
But Australia’s top female hockey players will be tested in different terrain in the Western Mudd Rush.
The Hockeyroos are competing in the gruelling mud covered obstacle course for the first time this year.
Star player Anna Flanagan said the team relished any type of contest, especially one which supported a cause.
“Because Mudd Rush is for Donormate it is extra motivation to get involved,” she said.
“It’s good to keep a balance with training, and we like to get into local community events.”
Donormate raises awareness of organ donation, particularly among young healthy Australians.
Goalkeeper and dual Commonwealth Games medallist Rachael Lynch said the charity was close to her heart.
“As a nurse I see a lot of people who need donations and often dying when they are on the donor list,” she said.
“Australia’s donation rates are too low and part of that is because of lack of awareness.”
The Western Mudd Rush attracts more than 20,000 people to Brigadoon Equestrian Centre each year.
The first obstacle course of its kind in WA, the race’s popularity has exploded since its inception in 2012.
This year’s event is on August 16 and features new obstacles for a 4km, 8km and mini kid’s course.
The West Australian
PHF blames PM for hockey debacle
By Nabil Tahir
"PM Nawaz himself is mainly responsible for the team’s poor results. He didn’t spare his time to meet the players and PHF officials on all six occasions," PHF probe committee member Mansoor Ahmed. PHOTO: REUTERS
KARACHI: While the probe committee set up by the Prime Minister (PM) to uncover the reasons for the poor showing in the Olympic qualifiers by the hockey team has already submitted their report and suggested changing the management of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), the committee formed by the PHF lays the blame for the debacle on the government and the PM.
PHF probe committee member Mansoor Ahmed said that it was the actions of the premier, who failed to release the funds on time and also refused to meet the players on six occasions, which led to the poor showing in the qualifiers.
“PM Nawaz Sharif himself is mainly responsible for the team’s poor results. He didn’t spare his time to meet the players and PHF officials on all six occasions, nor did he properly acknowledge them for the medals they brought home,” Mansoor told The Express Tribune. “This is the reason we formed the committee ourselves because we felt that the IPC-formed one would never say anything against the government and therefore would be biased.”
The committee, headed by Olympian Shahid Ali Khan and including members Mansoor and Ikhlaq Ahmed, will submit its findings, which include detailed interviews with the federation officials, players and the team doctor, within a week to the Pakistan Sports Board.
“We have found a number of reasons behind the team’s dismal performance. We will submit our report within a week which will be completely transparent and based purely on facts. In our report, we have also given our proposals on how to streamline the affairs of hockey,” he added.
Meanwhile, head coach Shahnaz Sheikh and chief selector Islahuddin Siddiqui refused to meet with the officials, claiming that they had already submitted their report to the committee formed by the Prime Minister and do not intend to play any part in the fact-finding commission of the PHF.
The Express Tribune
ICCI offers to help Pakistan hockey
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan business community has offered to play its active role and raising funds for the revival of the national game hockey.
Pakistan hockey is continuously on a path of downfall since long and it hit another low in last month when Pakistan failed to qualify for the Olympics Games first time in 68 years.
Earlier, Pakistan had also failed to qualify for World Cup 2014 and sports pundits and games stakeholders are united in their opinion that lack of financial support was behind this decline.
On behalf of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), its acting president Ashfaq Hussain Chatha has given Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and government a golden offer to raise funds for the game through a donation campaign involving all chambers of the country to put the national game back on track.
He made this offer during a meeting with Rawalpindi Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA) representatives who visited the ICCI office on Tuesday to discuss the issues being faced by Pakistan sport and requested the chamber to play its role for promotion of sports in the country.
“Being a Pakistani, it hurts to see struggling Pakistani hockey, which once ruled the world and now it has even failed to qualify for the next year’s Rio Olympics.
Not only hockey but also other sports have been suffering due to lack of infrastructure, facilities and funds and government is least bothered to redress the issues.
We are ready to help hockey in the best possible way just like we helped disabled sports,” the ICCI president said.
Chatha also announced to establish a one million rupees annual fund for sports promotion and said a committee comprising ICCI members and sports journalists would suggest ways to promote sports in the country.
He said the ICCI had already been supporting special athletes and its former president Mehfooz Elahi and ICC sports committee chairman Saeed Ahmed Bhatti were with Pakistani special athletes in World Games in Los Angles, where Pakistan won 62 medals.
The ICCI president also lauded RISJA’s role and tireless efforts for promotion of sports and highlighting issues of twin cities’ players.
RISJA chairman Abdul Mohi Shah said that Pakistani players needed sponsorships to excel and business community should come forward to provide financial support to the talented players.
RISJA president Mohsin Ali appreciated role of the ICCI for patronising sports activities including Pakistan cricket team for special persons.
ICCI urges government to establish special fund for hockey
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) on Tuesday said the chamber had planned to set up a sports development fund to support needy athletes of the country. Addressing a press conference here, ICCI Acting President Ashfaq Chatta said the fund would be set up to acquire funding from charity-giving persons and utilise it for the benefit of needy sportspersons. He said the ICC in its next executive meeting, to be held later this month, would discuss the organisation of the fund. Chatta, while appreciating the sports journalists, said that they had always been supporting the ICCI to organise different sports events, especially for athletes. “We hope the relationship between media and the ICCI for the betterment of sports will further strengthen in the coming days,” he added.
Speaking about the downfall of hockey, Chatta said the current national team had become a pale reflection of Pakistan’s past hockey team. “The departments and other private organisations that used to work for the betterment of hockey have pulled off their hands which is really unfortunate.” He requested the government to establish a special fund for the national game hockey and the ICCI would fully contribute to revive the national game in the country with an inclusive campaign. “All national organisations should contribute in the fund raising drive for hockey. We will also activate our members across the country to support the national game.” He said funds and jobs were the dire need of players and these should be arranged for the uplift of the game. “The ICCI and all other chambers in the country are always available to save the national game,” he said. He also commended Special Olympian performance in the recently concluded Special Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
The Daily Times
Hockey teams pay tribute to coach and player Mark Wilkens
Nelson hockey player Mark Wilkens. Alden Williams/Fairfax NZ
The Nelson College and Waimea College First XI boys' hockey teams have paid tribute to late coach and player Mark Wilkens with a floral presentation to his wife Kathy and family prior to their clash at the Tasman secondary schools hockey tournament at Saxton Turf on Wednesday.
The Nelson hockey community is in mourning following Wilkens' sudden death at the weekend.
Wilkens, a Nelson College old boy, was at Saxton Turf mentoring a mixed school and club team on Saturday when he collapsed on the field during the halftime team talk.
The late Mark Wilkens' wife Kathy Wilkens, centre, with Mark's sister Rosemary Wright and son Eli Wilkens during the moments silence at Saxton Turf on Wednesday. Alden Williams/Fairfax NZ
Emergency services were called but were unable to resuscitate him.
Wilkens played for the Federal Titans, had represented Nelson and New Zealand in masters hockey, coached and mentored several teams over the years and was a life member of the Federal Hockey Club.
Nelson College's team manager Alethea Stove said that it was during a Monday counselling session for the Nelson College boys involved in Saturday's match that the idea to offer their support to Wilkens' family was mentioned.
With Wilkens' son Eli also attending Waimea College, it was decided that both teams should be involved, both lining at halfway prior to the match to pay tribute.