All the news for Sunday 16 August 2015
This man quit being scientist to nurture hockey dreams
K Arumugam (centre), who quit his job as a scientist with the central government to promote the sport, is neither a hockey player nor a coach himself. He hires professional trainers. The 58-year-old can often be seen at schools, cheering his hockey teams. (Raj K Rak/ HT Photo)
It is 6.30pm and getting dark. It rained in the afternoon and the playground of the government school in Saket is dotted with puddles of water.
In a corner, a group of raucous young students, who have just rushed out of their classroom, are changing into T-shirts with the letters OTHL. These boys who attend the evening school don’t want to miss their game of hockey at any cost before they head home. It’s a game that gives them the hope of a better future.
“My mother does not want me to stay back after my classes but I want to play hockey and get a job; I do not want to become a driver like my father,” says 10-year-old short and scrawny Karan as he rushes to join his hockey team at school.
For 13-year-old Feroz Khan, his teammate, hockey holds out similar hopes. “You see, cricket is rich kids’ game, it will get us nowhere, but hockey surely will.”
Like Karan and Khan, there are thousands of underprivileged children in the capital who believe that hockey has the potential to change their destiny. And the man who has drilled this belief into them is K Arumugam, 58, a Delhi-based IITian and hydraulic engineer-turned-hockey historian.
The letters OTHL printed on the children’s T shirts stand for One Thousands Hockey Legs, a programme Arumugam runs in Delhi and other cities to initiate children into hockey, which for him is both a sport and an instrument of social change.
“If there is a sport that can transform lives of underprivileged children in this country, it’s hockey. This open air game helps children develop personality, confidence, and leadership. I also use the game to impart training in etiquette, general knowledge, and spoken English. This is the game where it is easy to come up and get noticed,” says Arumugam.
Arumugam believes that common citizens, not institutions, can revive hockey. So in 2008, he founded the Hockey Citizen Group, a non-profit organisation to promote the game. OTHL, (One Thousand Hockey Legs) one of its projects, aims to initiate 500 school children into hockey every year in Delhi and other cities such as Chennai, Kolkata. Arumugam, who quit his cushy job as a scientist with the central government to promote hockey, has a lot of passion to achieve his mission.
Under One Thousand Hockey Legs, Arumugam approaches government schools, offers to repair their grounds, provides children hockey sticks, gear and coaches. The idea, he says, is to create hockey teams in schools and foster a hockey culture among the underprivileged.
“Most schools have cricket, football and basketballs teams but not a hockey team. Though I offer everything free of cost, seeking permission of the principal, sports teacher and the class teacher to start a team is not always easy,” says Arumugam, who is currently working with 18 government schools in Delhi, providing hockey training to 1,100 children. It costs him about Rs 18 lakh a year.
Arumugam, who lives in a twobedroom builder flat in Khirki Extension, spends about Rs 12 lakh a year from his pocket — not easy for someone whose only sources of income are his meagre pension and money from his writings on hockey. “Some money comes from donation from my friends.
Corporate sponsorship is difficult as companies back off because they feel I am into some kind of charity for government school children. But thankfully, this year I got some sponsorship in the form of equipment for the hockey tournaments I organized,” says Arumugam, also a hockey historian who has authored about 13 books on the game.
He regrets that hockey is now moribund in a city that once hosted as many as 40 hockey clubs — including the famous Independent Club, Wanderer Club — most of which are now extinct. “Institutional hockey has killed hockey clubs, which is quite a setback as far as encouraging hockey at the grassroots level is concerned. But I am hopeful that this game will be revived one day,” he says.
Every day from 6-9am and every evening from 3-8pm, Arumugam can be seen at schools across the city to train and cheer his hockey teams, to give them pep talk and an insight into the glorious history of the game. (HT Photo)
“I am neither a hockey player, nor a coach. I am just a common citizen and hockey is my first love. I hire professional coaches to train our children,” says Arumugam.
He conducts friendly matches between OTHL schools (schools where he has created hockey teams) and organises Delhi Cup, an inter-OTHL schools tournament. Many of the underprivileged children he has trained have played at zonal competitions. Many others have got selected for their state teams to participate in the sub-junior and junior national championships. “It is just the beginning and I am sure we will be able to produce many players who will play for the country.”
Most students he is working with are children of rickshawpullers, masons, mechanics, and construction workers. Quite a few of them have been selected by the Sports Training Centre (STC) run by the Sports Authority of India in various cities. As we talk, two of his players-Zaseem and Amitcome and touch his feet. Both are leaving for Patiala where they have got admission at a sports training centre run by the Sports Authority of India. “I want to play for the country and if that does not work out, at least I shall get a good job under the sports quota.
My father, a construction worker, is no more and my mother is going through hard times,” says Zaseem.
Soon both turn to Arumugam and say, “Thank you sir, for everything.” A proud Arumugam hugs them and walks towards his car. The next day he is supposed to cheer OTHL girls at a government school in Janakpuri.
Indian hockey has developed bigger pool of players: Sardar
Indian hockey team captain Sardar Singh during a practice session.
Notwithstanding their poor penalty conversion rate in the recently concluded Europe tour, Indian captain Sardar Singh on Saturday said that hockey has certainly developed a bigger player pool with the future of the national sport looking bright.
India had started their European sojourn with back to back victories over France before defeating Spain 2-1 in a three-match series.
“The young players played exceptionally well and which is gradually adding to our strengths as we have a bigger pool of players to choose from before each tournament,” Sardar said after arriving at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here.
However, the age-old problem of poor penalty corner conversion continued to affect the Indians as they managed to score only five goals from short corners in the five matches.
The side looked vulnerable in their 1-4 loss to Spain and Sardar was quick to admit the teams follies.
“We are in high spirits after the win in the European Tour and have come back with many learnings along with the weaknesses that needs to be worked upon. I think we need to work on converting scoring opportunities through penalty corners and which will be our emphasis before the FIH World League Final later in the year,” he said.
High Performance Director and chief coach Roelant Oltmans also praised the Indian unit for its good showing.
“The team performed exceptionally well in the European Tour which proves that our players are ready to take on greater challenges,” the Dutchman said.
“The highlight was that we did not give away the ball possession easily to the opponents and with the FIH Hockey World League Final scheduled to take place towards the end of this year, I hope the team does its best and displays high level performances.”
Must improve penalty corner conversion: Sardar Singh
NEW DELHI: Praising his teammates for a creditable performance during their recent European tour, Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh said on Saturday that the players need to improve their penalty corner conversion before the FIH World League Final later in the year.
The Indians had started their European sojourn with back to back victories over France before defeating Spain 2-1 in a three-match series.
The only blip in an otherwise successful tour was a 1-4 defeat in the first match against Spain. But to their credit, the Indians make a strong comeback by emphatically winning the next two matches.
However, the old achilles heel of poor penalty corner conversion continues to dog the Indians as they managed to score only five goals from short corners in the five matches.
"We are in high spirits after the win in the European Tour and have come back with many learnings along with the weaknesses that needs to be worked upon. I think we need to work on converting scoring opportunities through penalty corners and which will be our emphasis before the FIH World League Final later in the year," Sardar said after arriving at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here.
"The young players played exceptionally well and which is gradually adding to our strengths as we have a bigger pool of players to choose from before each tournament."
High performance director and chief coach Roelant Oltmans however, preferred to focus more on the positives.
"The team performed exceptionally well in the European Tour which proves that our players are ready to take on greater challenges," the Dutchman said.
"The highlight was that we did not give away the ball possession easily to the opponents and with the FIH Hockey World League Final scheduled to take place towards the end of this year, I hope the team does its best and displays high level performances."
The Times of India
Walsh: Here to educate coaches and players
TERENCE Arthur Walsh is back in Malaysia as a coaching Technical Director.
Better known around the globe as Terry Walsh, he last coached Malaysia from 1990-1994, and yesterday he answered questions on why he made it back to our shores after being unceremoniously hounded out 21 years.
"The reason I am back is because there have been many positive changes in the administration of hockey in the country," was his blunt opening statement.
And then he gave an insight which hit the nail spot on: "Australians do not reveal much, but when they do it good that one listens. I was told (by Australian coaches and players) that Malaysian players have great potential, but they just do not know how to do it...."
And he gave an example: "I was watching Malaysia play India in the quarter-finals of the World League Semi-finals from thousands of miles away and after taking a 2-1 lead, they lost their Olympic hope to two penalty corners (lost 3-2).
"They showed great potential by coming back from a goal down to lead 2-1, but after that, they just did not know what to do."
Walsh signed a two-plus-two contract with the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) and his primary job is to educate the coaches and players.
For starters, he will conduct a two-day coaching seminar from Monday for 14 FIH Level Three Malaysian coaches, and in two weeks time will sit down with the MHC Coaching committee to select the chief coach.
The other revelation made by Terry was that other races have been left out of the hockey fraternity.
"Malaysia had and I believe has many good players from all segments (races) and we need to bring them back into the game to form a lethal combustion which will take the nation into the top 10 or even top eight in the world.
In the 90s there were many non-Malays playing hockey for the country, but today, only goalkeeper S. Kumar and Baljit Singh remain in the senior team, while there are no non-Malays in the Project 2016 squad as well as in the women's teams.
When asked if he will chance the playing system: "No, there are many good things in how the team plays now, but we need to chance some factors to make everything linear and then we can start by becoming better in the Asian level, before looking at the world tournaments."
Walsh was the chief coach of India from 2013 to 2014, but a left after getting caught in red tape, but not before making sure India become Asian Games champions and qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
As for Malaysia, the three important senior tournaments in 2018 are the World Cup, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.
This year, the juniors would be involved in a Junior World Cup qualifier, when Kuantan plays hosts to the Junior Asia Cup.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Walsh back with Malaysian hockey as Technical Director
By S. Ramaguru
MHC president Datuk Subahan Kamal (right) congratulating Walsh on his appointment after MHC executive board meeting on Saturday. - Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: Former Malaysia hockey coach Terry Walsh was on Saturday appointed as the Technical Director to oversee the development of national players and coaches.
His appointment takes effect immediately and he will conduct a two-day symposium for coaches on Monday and Tuesday.
The Australian’s return was announced by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Subahan Kamal after their executive board meeting.
Walsh helmed the national team from 1990 to 1993. He also had coaching stints in Australia, the United States and recently in India.
His return was widely expected after the National Sports Council (NSC) suggested the hiring of a Technical Director for hockey.
“We have no doubt that this is the right move and we believe Walsh is the man who can move us forward,” said Subahan.
Walsh, who signed a two-plus-two years contract, said he was under no illusion of the task ahead.
But he added that there is immense potential in the national team and felt that they can be among the top 10 in the world.
“The reason I am back is because there have been many positive changes in the administration of the game here. And I also believe that the Malaysian team have the potential to be among the top teams in the world.
“Let me share this with you. Australians do not reveal much, but when they do it is worth listening. I was told (by Australian coaches and players) that the Malaysians have great potential, but they just do not know how to do it.”
But he is not going to make any drastic changes to the team’s playing style.
“No, there are many good things in how the team plays now, but we need to change some factors to make everything linear and then we can start by becoming better at Asian level before looking at world tournaments,” he said.
The Star of Malaysia
Tenaga on a mission to stop the slide in MHL
By S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: Desperate Tenaga Nasional are banking on a revival after two successive defeats in the Malaysia Hockey League.
The Premier Division team, who are in fourth spot, face third-placed Sapura at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.
And another loss would jeopardise their target of a top-three finish as the league reaches its halfway mark.
Tenaga defeated Maybank (2-1) and UniKL (3-2) but lost to Terengganu (5-0) and KLHC (3-1).
Tenaga assistant team manager Adam Izamy Idrus said that they must check the slide against Sapura.
“We had two tough matches against the top two clubs. But this losing run has to stop. Sapura are now a tough team as they have strengthened their side considerably this year. So it will not be an easy match at all,” he said.
Adam added that Sapura have roped in three key players from their team.
“Faiz (Helmi), Mohamed Marhan (Jalil) and Mohamed Izad Hakimi have been regulars with us and know our style of play. But we have a young side who are battlers. We just need to get our game together and play with greater confidence,” he added.
Sapura lost their unbeaten record on Friday when they were beaten by Terengganu (1-0) in Kuala Terengganu.
But Tai Beng Hai is happy with his players despite the defeat and is confident the team will get back to their winning ways.
“Tenaga, who have a couple of experienced players, can be dangerous if we give them too much room to attack. It will be another tough game as they are desperate for points,” said Beng Hai.
The Star of Malaysia
Weusthof added to Kampong coaching ticket
Roderick Weusthof will be the new assistant coach of Kampong’s men’s first team, taking over the role from Geert-Jan Derikx.
He will be the assistant to Alexander Cox having spentlast season, his first since retiring from playing, as the assistant coach of SCHC’s successful women’s team.
Speaking about the new role, Weusthof said: "I was still very involved with the club and the team so when Al Alexander Cox asked me to be his assistant, I was enthusiastic.
“I have known him for a long time.We played hockey together and he was my coach when I played at Kampong soI am so very happy that I'm his assistant next season. "
Weusthof scored 354 times in the Dutch Hoofdklasse, a record for the league following spells with Kampong as well as Rotterdam, SCHC and Nijmegen.He played 153 international matches in which he scored 79 goals.
Euro Hockey League media release
East Grinstead add two new faces
East Grinstead have added Dominic Bowden and Janis Schwebs to their ranks for the forthcoming 2015/2016 season.
Bowden has represented England at all junior age groups up to and including Under-21 and joins the club from Den Bosch in The Netherlands.
Before moving to play in the Hoofdklasse, he spent five years at Loughborough University and is a great exponent of the indoor game. He will wear the number 10 shirt next season and has recently joined the England and GB Development Group.
Schwebs arrives us from Berliner HC and has represented Germany up to and including Under-21 level.
Comfortable with the ball in both defensive and midfield lines, Schwebs is at home both indoors and outdoors.
Coach Karl Stagno, pictured, said of the new arrivals: “I'm really pleased with the way our player group is shaping up ahead of the new season. We are strengthening all the areas we had targeted and I look forward to working with these new additions and others yet to be announced”
His team will build up to their EHL and English league campaign with the annual Five Feathers Invitational Cup which will be played from August 29 to 31.
Euro Hockey League media release
Tasman and Federal share Nelson premier club hockey titles
Federal Titans' Warwick Neame, left, shadows Tasman's Daniel McIvor during Saturday's premier men's final at Saxton Turf. PATRICK HAMILTON/FAIRFAX NZ
The Tasman and Federal clubs have shared the division one honours as the curtain came down on the Nelson club hockey season at Saxton Turf on Saturday.
The Federal women's team defended their title with a tight 1-0 win over Tasman while the Tasman men proved much more emphatic in their 7-3 win over the Federal Titans in the men's decider.
But it required a scrambling goal to Hannah Climo with just three minutes remaining for Federal to finally secure the women's crown after both teams had applied plenty of attacking pressure throughout an evenly-contested final.
Federal's Jay Sigley drives past Tasman's Tanya Hawley during Saturday's premier women's final at Saxton Turf. PATRICK HAMILTON/FAIRFAX NZ
Tasman had appeared to take a 1-0 lead from a penalty corner midway through the first half. However, the goal was disallowed after the ball was ruled to have deflected off a player's foot.
Both teams created scoring opportunities in a scoreless first half, Tasman also forcing two penalty corners to Federal's one. The stalemate continued until well into the second half as the pattern remained the same until Climo finally struck the decisive blow in a congested goalmouth with time almost up.
Jay Sigley was again prominent in Federal's attack while Emma Nicholson was strong in defence. Captain Diane Webb and Stacy Gribble also impressed.
Tasman captain Tanya Hawley attempted to provide her typically conspicuous midfield presence but admitted afterwards that both herself and Bronie Edwards were effectively marked out of the game. Still, goalie Oshay Uniwai impressed with some vital saves and Brenna Ellis and Nardia Giles each produced tireless displays.
"Maybe with an extra five minutes more we could probably have put one away to equalise," said a disappointed Hawley.
While happy with the team's defence, Hawley said they struggled with their transition.
"We put a lot of energy into trying to get out of [defence] instead of trying to move forward with the ball. We kind of kept it all in one half rather than give [the ball] a bit more height or little bit more width.
"But it was a great game...it could have gone either way and everyone just worked really hard."
For Federal coach Craig Brett, he was simply relieved to have snared another championship title.
"Finals are funny old things, they can either blast open or be really close like this one was," he said.
With victory secured, Brett's day was by no means over as he then took his place as player-coach of the Federal Titans' lineup in the men's final. And while he made some sort of impact scoring two first half goals, the signs were clear early on that Tasman were going to be tough to stop.
Tasman had taken the early lead when Pat O'Connor-Leys scored off a penalty corner in the ninth minute, Brett levelling at 1-1 five minutes later.
Tasman responded immediately though, Alex Davies scoring the first of his three goals ahead of a second to O'Connor-Leys as Tasman took a handy 3-1 lead after 22 minutes. While Brett scored again to reduce the margin to 3-2 following a probing sideline run by Jamie Machen, Davies struck again after drawing out Federal's goalie Trevor Eden just before the break to put Tasman ahead 4-2 at halftime.
Davies completed his hat-trick four minutes after the restart, with a goal to Tom Froeling extending Tasman's lead to a seemingly insurmountable 6-2 nine minutes later. And although Federal continued to fight - Brett Butcher connecting with a clean strike near the edge of the circle to reduce the margin to 6-3 - Scott Green sealed a convincing Tasman win with their seventh and final goal in the 22nd minute.
It was a satisfying performance for Tasman's skipper Dean Hawley who, along with the physically-imposing Brad Smith, formed a solid last line of defence.
"At various points during the first half we felt we had the ball a lot and under control and with 10-15 minutes to go in the second half, we felt like we were on top again," Hawley said.
"It was by far our best performance against them this season. All the boys turned up today," he said, paying due credit to the combined efforts of his young players.
Davies and O'Connor-Leys provided the scoring punch, with Tasman's slick younger brigade of Davies, Toby Bowden, Blake McKnight, Scott Walbran and Green providing the energy and momentum to maintain the necessary pressure. Essentially though, younger Tasman legs ultimately prevailed.
"It was more the speed really," Hawley said. "I'll give it to [Federal], they're older but they're really fit."
Losing coach Brett said that Tasman's tactic of lobbing high overhead passes to keep turning the Federal players around proved sound. And, he said, Federal simply made too many errors - no doubt attributable to the constant pressure applied by Tasman.
"When you look at it, the mistakes we made cost us. We came back into the game and made it 2-1 but just another mistake of ours cost us," Brett said.
"It was probably one of the best games we've had this year, it was quite enjoyable to play. They were the team to beat this year...it was a well-deserved win for those guys."
Federal 1 (Hannah Climo) Tasman 0. Ht 0-0.
Tasman 7 (Alex Davies 3, Pat O'Connor-Leys 2, Tom Froeling, Scott Green) Federal Titans 3 (Craig Brett 2, Brett Butcher) Ht 4-2.
Tigers rally to hold Sailors in nationwide hockey league
By CELLESTINE OLILO
Maxwell Fuchaka of Butali Sugar Warriors (right) dribbles past Victor Chidi of Western Jaguars on May 3, 2015 during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match at City Park Stadium. PHOTO - CHRIS OMOLLO
Parkroad Tigers battled to a 1-1 draw with Chase Sailors in the Kenyan men’s National League match staged at the City Park Stadium on Saturday.
Oscar Buluma and David Omwaka scored for Chase Sailors and Parkroad respectively to ensure their teams went home with a point each from the match.
The Sailors, who are sponsored by Chase Bank, lead pool ‘A’ with a five-match unbeaten record. Yesterday’s was Sailors’ first draw of the season.
They showed intentions of maintaining their 100 per cent unbeaten record by taking the lead at half time with a goal from Buluma who had executed a spectacular backhand shot in the 35th minute to smack the ball into the net.
Tigers however responded in the 20th minute of the second half when captain Omwaka evaded a challenge from Dennis Yalwala and Robert Wasike before rushing home to sound the boards.
In another men’s national league match staged at the same venue, University of Nairobi registered their first win of the season after beating Impala 1-0.
The university students had gone five matches without a single win, and the result saw them jump from ninth to sixth position in the pool ‘A’standings with the same points as Impala.
Stephane Ochieng scored the qall-important goal in the 46th minute when his team mate Derrick Ouma crossed the ball to him from outside the penalty area, and he finished off with a clinical swing to send the ball past Impala goalkeeper Bran Wanjala.