All the news for Friday 2 September 2011
Malaysia on learning curve at Asian Champions Trophy
KUALA LUPUR: Malaysia left for the Asian Champions Trophy early yesterday morning ranked as the region’s No. 2 hockey nation. But their participation in Ordos, China, will be nothing more than a learning curve.
Their target is to finish in the top four and, given the weakened opposition at the meet, the team should achieve it without too much of a problem. So, coach Tai Beng Hai’s main concern will be to learn as much as he can about the standard of play of teams like India, Japan, China and South Korea.
These four teams will be playing in the Olympic qualifiers next year with Malaysia. At least one of the teams are likely to be in the same qualifying group as Malaysia.
Only Asian champions Pakistan will not play in the qualifiers, having gained an automatic berth to the London Olympics after winning the gold medal at the Guangzhou Asian Games last year.
In Ordos, Malaysia are likely to have former Asian champions South Korea as their main rival for a place in the final.
India have lost two seasoned campaigners – Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh – but the hiring of Australian Michael Nobbs as coach could galvanise the team.
“We have to find out all we can about these teams. The other objectives will be to expose our younger players and to work on our combinations,” said Beng Hai.
“The main assignment for us is the FIH Champions Challenge I in November. That will be important as it will offer us ranking points and also provide us with a more definite assessment of our preparations.
“We want to do well there (South Africa). Quite a number of the teams playing in that tournament have either qualified for London or will play in the qualifiers with us.”
For the Champions Challenge I, Malaysia are in Group B with Canada, Argentina and Japan. Group A comprises New Zealand, South Africa, Belgium and Poland.
Tomorrow: South Korea vs Japan, India vs China, Pakistan vs Malaysia
Sunday: Japan vs India, South Korea vs Malaysia, Pakistan vs China
Tuesday: China vs Malaysia, Japan vs Pakistan, India vs South Korea
Wednesday: Malaysia vs India, China vs Japan, Pakistan vs South Korea
Sept 9: India vs Pakistan, China vs South Korea, Japan vs Malaysia
Sept 11: Final and classification matches
The Star of Malaysia
2011 UK School Games - Sheffield
England U18 National
At 11am on Thursday 1st September defending hockey champions Ulster got the 2011 Sainsbury's UK School Games (UKSG) under way against opponents Scotland.
The multisport nature of the UKSG provides hockey with a unique opportunity to expose its athletes, team managers, coaches, physios, umpires, officials and internal staff to the challenges and positive experiences similar to those of the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Hockey players are selected for the UKSG through the regional/national talent development programmes in each of the home nations, which culminate in inter-regional competitions where players play for their own region. Players are identified to join the regional programmes after impressing in competitions for either their school or club, with national junior championship run in each home nation.
There are four teams involved in the competition with players representing England, Scotland, Ulster and Wales.
Results will be posted at the end of each match in our international results section.
England Under 18 Girls Squad
Briony Anyon Reading
Martha Baker Beeston
Megan Crowson Southgate
Emily Defroand Old Loughtonians
Lily Elliott Sevenoaks
Alice Freeman Wycombe
Lucy Hyams Canterbury
Kathryn Lane Belper
Hannah Martin Ipswich
Lily Owsley Firebrands
Jenny Peebles Trojans
Ella Picton Pelicans
Mollie Rawnsley Wakefield Bradford
Rebecca van Berkel Havant
Rebecca Weston Canterbury
Lucy Wood East Grinstead
England Under 18 Boys Squad
James Albery Cambridge City
Tom Alsop Devizes
George Cairns Havant
Navraj Degun Barford Tigers
Atran Drayton-Chana Cannock
Rob Farrington Bromley & Beckenham
Daniel Faulkner Havant
Sam French Ben Ryhdding
James Gall Surbiton
Jonty Griffiths Holcombe
Sam Hatherley Havant
Tom Morris Cannock
Peter Phillips Addiscombe
Chris Proctor Beeston
Matthew Richards Taunton Vale
Luke Taylor East Grinstead
England Hockey Board Media release
Preston salvages draw for Scotland girls with last minute strike against Ulster
A strike by Lucy Preston a minute from the final whistle gave Scotland girls a fighting 3-3 draw with Ulster in the opening game of the Sainsbury`s UK School Games in Sheffield.
Ulster dominated the opening half from the start of the match and took a two goal lead into half time. The score could have been higher but for a series of outstanding saves from goalkeeper Laurie Kirkland, who kept the Scots in the game. Scotland`s only reply was a couple of half chances to Amber McNeill and Louise Campbell.
After some words of encouragement from coach Mark Ralph during the interval, the Scots pulled one back within 90 seconds of the restart. Jenny Eadie`s shot was saved by the Ulster goalkeeper but Amanda Maxwell followed up to score.
The Scots youngsters were level within four minutes. Laura Page made the running, Maxwell`s shot was blocked by the keeper, but Preston was on hand to squeeze the ball home.
However, the game looked lost when Ulster took a 3-2 lead with only ten minutes left, but Ralph`s charges were not to be denied in their second half recovery.
Karin Belch picked up a free hit and passed the ball on to Lara Mowforth, her hit in the circle was brilliantly converted by a diving deflection from Lucy Preston for a late share of the points.
"Ulster came out strong right from the start and we were not really in the game in the first half, but after a few words at the interval the girls were a much more confident and relaxed side, and they thoroughly deserved the draw at the end," said Ralph.
In the second match of the day Scotland`s boys were beaten 9-0 by Ulster.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
The draft national sports development bill was rejected by the cabinet on Tuesday, with several ministers expressing strong concerns about its provisions. This is fortunate; the bill should unquestionably be seen as a naked power-grab. India’s sports federations hardly operate at peak efficiency, government control will not improve matters. Indeed, given the government’s track record in matters of sport, extending its authority into the nitty-gritty of administration will almost certainly make things worse.
The bill has various provisions that should worry us. Unless “recognition” is bestowed on an organisation, it will not be permitted to claim to send an “Indian team” abroad; nor can it consider itself part of an international federation. “Recognition”, of course, will serve essentially to ensure a sports federation does whatever the government wishes it to. Yet this bill is presented to us merely as a harmless reform to try and make sports bodies more open and transparent. Other provisions are also odd: why is the government prescribing a retirement age for the heads of independent societies, for example? With singular recklessness, the sports ministry went ahead even after the International Olympic Association wrote strongly worded letters, warning that interference with the independence of its Indian affiliate would lead to “appropriate measures and actions which might seriously affect the representation and participation of India at the Olympic Games and international sports events”.
Even more absurd than the old-line statist impulse of this draft is the decision to make it a priority at this time at all. The UPA is struggling to carry other political parties and state governments along on its pending legislative agenda. It is far from clear why it would choose to dip into its severely depleted reserves of goodwill and authority to get this particular bill passed. If human resources are a concern, where is the forward movement on skilling the working-age population? Energy wasted on fighting the sports bill battle could instead have been focused on the massive expansion of schools and colleges needed to meet the goal of quality education for all those who need it. Does the Central government have the slightest sense of what its priorities should be? Does it feel the slightest urgency to get India moving again? Judging by its choice to waste time and effort on an attempt to take over sports federations, the answer is not reassuring.
Ten hockey clubs register to participate in Afahye tournament
Cape Coast, Ghana - Ten hockey clubs have registered to participate in the Oguaa Fetu Afahye hockey tournament scheduled for Saturday, September 3 at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) sports grounds.
The Clubs are Citizens, NDK Financiers, Reformers, CEPS, Veterans and Golden Sticks all from Accra.
The rests are Exchequers, Police, UCC and Takoradi Western Rangers.
According to Haruna Issa, organizing secretary of the competition, more than 100 sportsmen are expected to participate in the competition.
Finalists for Team USA Grant announced
USA Field Hockey has been named as a finalist for a Team USA Grant of $12,000. As part of the Join Team USA initiative, the U.S. Olympic Committee created the Team USA Grants to assist organizations within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Family.
USA Field Hockey submitted a video clip on the Futures program hoping to award 26 full scholarships to athletes with financial constraints. The grant money will allow USA Field Hockey to expand the sport to athletes who may not otherwise have the opportunity to play.
"The Team USA Grants are all about supporting the countless organizations across the country that work year-round to train future Olympians and Paralympians and share the values of Olympism with youth, while at the same time increasing the USOC's impact through the Join Team USA campaign," said USOC Chief Communications Officer Patrick Sandusky.
USA Field Hockey entered the contest under the Olympic Value category of excellence. The excellence category represents emerging and elite athletes striving to improve sustained competitive excellence. Striving for excellence is giving one’s best, on the field of play and in life. Winning is an outcome, but equally, if not more important, is making progress against ambitious personal goals, striving to be and doing our best in all aspects of our daily lives, and benefiting from the healthy combination of a strong body, mind and will.
USA Field Hockey and nine others were selected as finalists, but only four will win the $12,000.
Here’s how you can help!
USA Field Hockey’s video clip will be posted to the US Olympic Team Facebook page from Sept. 7-18 for fans to determine two winners from each category.
To vote, you must first "like" the US Olympic Team, and then you can vote once per category, per day. By 11:59:59 p.m. (ET) on Sept. 18, the two videos in each category with the most votes will receive the $12,000 grant.
USFHA media release