All the news for Wednesday 20 June 2012
Kookaburras Games Appeal Successful
Hockey Australia has received a positive response to the appeal against the Olympic Games fixture that would have seen the Australian men's hockey team face three 5am starts.
The Federation of International Hockey has confirmed it has re-scheduled Australia v Pakistan on August 7 from 8.30am to 10.45am, switching the Korea v Netherlands match to the earlier start.
Kookaburras Coach Ric Charlesworth had protested when the draw was released a month ago, believing it would have unfairly disadvantaged the world number one team.
"It is only right that it should be changed, we were ready to handle whatever we were dealt but this is certainly better," Charlesworth said.
'We always expected early games but not three and I am pleased it has been rectified. The pending decision has not been at the forefront of our psyche but it is good that it's settled."
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Mark Anderson said he was pleased to get a positive result following the discussions that occurred after the release of the Olympic schedule.
"It was a matter that Hockey Australia, our coaches and players felt very strongly about. We are pleased that our position has been considered and that an appropriate adjustment has been made," he said.
"We advocated that a change of at least one of the three matches would ensure a more equitable draw across the competition.
The change to a later time slot for the last of our three early morning matches ensures that our team has been given an equal chance to succeed and we can’t ask for more than that."
Mr Anderson said Hockey Australia had been given a fair hearing and the organisation's issues had been considered.
"We have been given an appropriate solution, our players and coaches are pleased with the compromise position that has been reached," he said.
The Australian Olympic Committee were very supportive of our position and we appreciated their involvement in the process to achieve this outcome.
The New Zealand women have also had one of their three matches changed as a result of the appeal.
Hockey Australia media release
Australia hockey team win appeal against early start
SYDNEY — The Australian men's field hockey team has won an appeal after the world's number one side was handed three early morning starts in their group matches at the London Olympics.
Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth was furious when the draw gave his team three 8:30am games, which he said would require players to wake up at 5:00am in a major disruption to their daily tournament routine.
At the same time, main rivals Germany avoided the early timeslot altogether in the opposite group.
Hockey Australia fired in an official protest and the Federation of International Hockey said Wednesday it has re-scheduled Australia v Pakistan on August 7 from 8:30am to 10:45am.
South Korea against the Netherlands will be switched to the earlier start.
"We always expected early games, but not three, and I am pleased it has been rectified," said Charlesworth.
Hockey Australia chief executive Mark Anderson said it was a matter the organisation, its coaches and players felt "very strongly about".
"We are pleased that our position has been considered and that an appropriate adjustment has been made," he said.
Australia have dominated international men's field hockey since Charlesworth took charge of the national team in 2009 and are strongly fancied for the gold medal in London.
Revington and Arul it is
A clandestine meeting over lunch, a hush hush arrival and a statement expected in two days time.
That is the scenario of Malaysian hockey as Paul Revington discussed terms with officials from the National Sports Council, Malaysian Hockey Confederation and the national team manager.
Revington arrived in Malaysia on June 17 and is expected to leave on June 21, after the announcement of his appointment by MHC President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.
It is learnt that those at the discussion were NSC Director General Dato Seri Zolkples Embong, MHC Secretay Johari Abdul Aziz and George Koshy, whose position in MHC remains unclear after the failed Olympic Qualifiers in Dublin in March.
It is said that Koshy was the person responsible to initiate discussions as far back as April and had played a key role in securing their services.
The irony however is why such secrecy and even NSC officer Ariffin Ghani claimed he had no inkling of the meeting.
A SMS to Dato Seri Zol confirmed the lunch meeting but he opted to ignore requests for a statement, both via SMS and email.
An SMS sent to Arul Selvaraj too went unanswered though he is normally the first to react to blog postings.
So the duo will have their work cut out as the MHL is scheduled for mid September to first week of November.
And it is now learnt that the Sultan of Johor Cup has been brought forward from 8 to 18 November to accommodate the Champions Challenge from 24 November to December 3 in Argentina.
So when is the Project 2013 team going to train as well as the national team. Mind you that the Razak Cup is the first week of September.
Obviously holding secret meetings and not discussing such matters at the Executive Board nor bringing the High Performance Committee Chairperson S.Shamala on board to discuss with the coaches emphasises that non MHC officials call the shots.
Malaysian Hockey blogspot
Revington's the choice
CHARTING FORTUNES: South African to be assisted by Selvaraj
By JUGJET SINGH
SOUTH African Paul Revington and former Malaysian international Arul Selvaraj have been given the task of reviving hockey in the country.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) yesterday held meetings with both the coaches, who are presently in Kuala Lumpur, but the positive outcome is being kept under wraps as MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wants to make the official announcement in a few days' time.
Revington and his assistant Arul first teamed up to coach South Africa, and later joined Ireland in 2008 with the target of taking the Irish into the London Olympics.
However, Ireland lost to South Korea in the Dublin Olympic Qualifier and Revington threw in the towel. He will now helm Malaysia's senior squad.
An MHC official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: "Our president has met Revington and is happy with the coach's determination and commitment. He (Revington) will chart Malaysia's senior future starting with the Champions Challenge I (in Argentina in November) and then the World Cup Qualifier next year."
Arul, a former national player, has had stints under German Paul Lissek but then left for South Africa, and then Ireland and is now back in Malaysia with his long-time mentor Revington.
With South Africa, Revington coached for three years and the South Africans moved up to 10th from 14th in the world rankings, and have now qualified for the London Olympics. South Africa, under Revington, also played in the 2004 Olympics and the 2006 World Cup.
As for former national coach Tai Beng Hai, he has been appointed Coaching Director to oversee junior development until 2021.
"I can't make any comments over the latest developments because I have yet to receive any appointment letter from the MHC. I will wait for the paperwork before commenting," said Beng Hai.
Beng Hai's resume includes the Invercargill World Cup Qualifier silver as well as the Asian Games silver, but he failed to take Malaysia into the Olympics or the World Cup.
Arul, when met in Dublin during the Olympic Qualifier, had said: "I have been working in Ireland for the last five years, and if possible, I would like to handle the Malaysian team once more."
In the past, the Malaysian seniors have been coached by Australian Terry Walsh, Germans Lissek and Volker Knapp and now have a South African.
New Straits Times
Not a problem
Chiow Chuan says he can juggle both jobs
by Vijhay Vick
BOYS TO MEN: 1Mas Under-16 boys after winning FHE Cup in Perth last year
KUALA LUMPUR: 1MAS programme director Lim Chiow Chuan will not have to choose between developing talent and heading the Project 2017 squad...not just yet.
Instead, being entrusted by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to take charge of the team can only complement what he has been doing with the programme.
1Mas caters for three age-groups — Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16. There are 29 centres, 20 for boys and nine for girls, throughout the country with an average of 60 aspiring hockey players in each centre.
“I can do both jobs. The Project 2017 is not a heavy one yet. As things stand there is no fulltime centralised training and that’s unlikely to begin anytime soon.
“The boys will need to develop with their respective States, clubs, schools first. Having them train together for long periods from now will not be good. It is only later that we can have more programmes for the Project 2017 boys,” said Chiow Chuan.
However, Chiow Chuan refused to speculate on his priorities, should there come a time when he’ll need to pick between the two jobs.
He responded: “That’s too early to say. I may still be replaced.”
Chiow Chuan, who was previously controlling the team as an interim coach, was asked to focus on the 1Mas programme by the programme’s Steering Committee chairman Datuk Zolkples Embong.
According to Chiow Chuan, that was the reason why assistant coach Lailin Abu Hassan took the team to an invitational tournament in Mannheim, Germany last month.
“I took the interim position on a voluntarily basis as there was no funding from the National Sports Council (NSC). I’m not sure what the arrangements are at the moment.
“But there are several players from the 1Mas programme that play for the Project 2017 team and more players from the programme may be called up if they show potential. The same applies to those already in the team, they can still drop out,” Chiow Chuan added.
Seven 1Mas players played in Manheim last month, an increase from the previous year where only one player travelled to Germany. The same players are likely to play in the Razak Cup as Chiow Chuan is hoping to expose the young players there.
Nichols returns to home turf in Norfolk
Two time US Olympian Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, VA) returns to her old stomping grounds to face No. 2 Argentina in the US’s final preparations for the Olympic Games. The upcoming two matches on June 20 and June 21 will be played on Nichols’s old home turf at Old Dominion University where she received numerous accolades, including being named CAA Player of the Year and CAA Defender of the Year, the first time in CAA history someone swept both honors in the same season.
Usafieldhockey.com caught up with Nichols in Virginia Beach to hear her thoughts about being back in her hometown and competing on her home turf as well as what she looks forward to in London.
What does it feel like to be back on the campus of Old Dominion University and competing on your old home turf?
CN: It is really great to be back. I was flooded with a ton of memories coming back onto campus and I got this feeling of wanting to go back in time and do it all over again. But, the most forefront thought in my head was the great foundation that ODU gave me to get me to where I am today.
On June 11, you found out you were going to London to compete in your second Olympic Games. Has it hit you yet that you are a two time Olympian?
CN: No! It kind of hits me at random moments. I recall certain memories from the Beijing Games like team processing and walking into the Olympic village for the first time and little things like that hit me throughout the day and I get really excited. I can’t wait to see what London is going to be like.
Talk us through your meeting with Coach Lee Bodimeade and your thoughts going into that meeting which determined whether or not you would be a part of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.
CN: I remember there was a really long hallway that felt like a mile long. We were called down individually to meet with Coach and the only thoughts going through my head were “Am I going to make it… am I not going to make it.” My hands were sweating and I kept asking myself “have I done everything I needed to, to make this meeting go the way I want it to.” I knew there was nothing else I could have done at that point and it was out of my hands. My heart was beating out of my chest as I sat down and waited for the news and finally Coach said, “Shaggy you’re going to London.”
In 2008, your high school coach sold her car to fly to Beijing to see you compete. Is there anyone special in your life that will be following you to London this summer?
CN: My coach from high school, the same one that sold her jeep in 2008, is coming to London to watch me play. But, she didn’t sell her car this time around! My great uncle will also be making the trip over the pond to see me play.
What was it like to face Argentina last night for the first time since the Pan American Games and in front of a large home crowd?
CN: It was a lot of fun just to play again. Typically against Argentina we are very serious and of course there is that huge rivalry between us, but last night was different in a very good way. We were relaxed with the pressure of selections off our shoulders and it was just a lot of fun to play in front of a home crowd and feel that home town love. We were disappointed with a tie, but the game showed the improvements that we have made in a couple of specific areas and it also exposed some areas that we need to continue to work on leading up to the Games.
Are excited about Saturday’s match being broadcast live on NBC Sports Network?
CN: It is super exciting. To be able to get our sport out there and expose young male and female athletes to the game who may take an interest in it is really great. I am glad that we have the opportunity to show everyone what this sport is about and it is definitely going to be a lot of fun to play on live television.
What would you say to a young athlete aspiring to be in your shoes someday?
CN: Never stop learning. Continue to work on the basics and always work hard. I am a firm believer that I will always outwork my opponent and I think in the long run that will always pay off for you.
What are you most excited for this summer in London?
CN: One of the things I am most excited about is about the publicity the sport is going to get and playing on the world stage with this group of women is going to be really special. I think we can do something very special in London and it is going to be really cool to be a part of that.
All nominations to the U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee board of directors.
USFHA media release
U.S. Men's Junior and Senior Squads named this week
CHULA VISTA, CA – This week 33 U21 male field hockey athletes will train and compete at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, VA to earn a spot on the 2012-13 U.S. Men’s Junior Squad.
“Selection camps always provide great competition and pressure for players to retain or gain the opportunity to represent their country,” said U.S. Men’s Head Coach Chris Clements. “We have a number of new faces attempting to be selected to the U21 squad for the first time. The camp is progressing well with some serious competition taking place. Selection should always be hard for the selectors and right now the athletes are doing a great job at keeping us guessing.”
Athletes selected to the squad will tour Canada and New Zealand before heading to Guadalajara, Mexico to compete in the Junior Pan American Championships, September 13-23.
“By giving U21 athletes the opportunity to train and compete for an extended period of time will help build a sound base for future success within the U.S. Men’s program,” said Clements.
Clements will name the U.S. Men’s Junior and Senior Squads at the end of the week. The California Cup in Moorpark, CA over Memorial Day weekend also provided a selection opportunity for athletes to make the U.S. Men’s Senior Squad. Their fate will be announced on Friday.
USFHA media release
Hamish McGregor on Sticks standby
Black Sticks keeper Hamish McGregor will be at the London Olympics as backup.
Just over a week ago the closest Hamish McGregor expected to get to the London Olympics was via the television set in his living room.
Now, the 24-year-old will occupy one of the best seats in the house.
One-test international McGregor will join midfielder Arun Panchia on standby in London, with both based outside the Olympic village in a London hotel. If one of the 16 men's Black Sticks is injured, either Panchia or McGregor will be called on as a permanent replacement.
Another Tauranga product, Steve Graham, was widely considered to be Kyle Pontifex's understudy but was usurped by McGregor as back-up when the team for London was unveiled last week.
McGregor, who left for Cairns on Sunday and a three-test series against world No 1 Australia, hasn't had time to mull over the logistics of his selection (or non-selection, depending on what way you look at it). His elevation to No 2 in the pecking order of shot-stoppers behind 147-cap veteran Pontifex was taking time to register.
"I presumed, like everyone else, Stevie would get the nod so it was a pretty massive surprise when Shooter (Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod) called last Monday to say I was going," McGregor said.
"I feel for Stevie because we both moved from Tauranga to train with the squad and give the Olympics a crack so it was always going to be hard for one of us. I don't know what was said among the selectors or why I was picked but it's another weird story for me and my hockey career."
McGregor's distinct Aussie twang is still very much evident, although he reckons 2 years back in New Zealand has smoothed the harshest edges. He was born in Christchurch but moved with his family to Australia when he was two, living in Canberra, Adelaide, Sydney and Hobart before winding up at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in Tauranga doing the marine studies course.
He and Panchia will be holed up in a hotel for two weeks, able to train with the team but reduced to spectators on game day. Midfielder and vice-captain Shea McAleese will strap on the protective padding if Pontifex is struck down by injury during a game, with McGregor on standby in case Pontifex is forced out of the tournament.
"There's been very little explained about my role in London but I'm there if the worst case scenario happens, which hopefully it won't," McGregor said. "Ari and I will apparently be based with a group of other New Zealanders and will have tickets to all the games. Richard (Petherick) and Nick (Wilson) were on standby in Beijing and said it was quite a cool experience going to the games and getting amongst the Olympic atmosphere."
With Pontifex and Graham ahead of him, McGregor upped pegs to Auckland this year determined to train hard and exert as much pressure as possible.
"I went to Auckland not resigned to staying at No 3," McGregor said. "I didn't want to make up numbers - there's no fun in that. Obviously Kyle is one of the best in the world at what he does so it was going to be tough to displace him but it was worth training hard to try and be better than him.
"I've done nothing different at training. I've worked hard, got a sweat up and tried to be a presence ... "
After a test debut two years ago against Japan in the UK, McGregor's only other international play has been warm-up games and a nine-a-side tournament across the ditch. After Cairns the team are home for 10 days and then leave for Europe, where they play against Belgium in Antwerp and the Netherlands in Utrecht.
McGregor doesn't know if he'll add to his one test cap prior to London. Pontifex is rumoured to be retiring after the Olympics, potentially opening up a whole new raft of opportunities.
"Who knows what's happening with Kyle, that's his call. But Stevie's a good keeper too so you'd imagine he'll want to keep fighting for a spot."
Bay of Plenty Times
Women's Black Sticks assistant sees work ahead
The New Zealand Black Sticks women's hockey team might not be highly fancied by many to win an Olympic Games medal in London this year, but their assistant coach, Chris Leslie, has high hopes.
Leslie, a former New Zealand player and Marlborough player/coach, recently returned from China and South Korea with the Black Sticks following their buildup series against those nations. New Zealand won the series against China but lost all three tests narrowly to South Korea, an extremely valuable exercise, according to Leslie.
"It was a good series to be involved with in terms of selection. Kayla Sharland, our co-captain, played the first part of the series against China but then returned home. It was good to see how the team performed without her in the midfield.
"We were pretty successful against China but not against Korea, which was disappointing.
"The disappointing factor is we didn't fire until we were a goal down, so we need to address that.
"In the last game against Korea we were 3-1 up then Korea scored three goals in the last five minutes to win.
"There is a lot to work on prior to the Olympics, but it is good to know that information now."
Leslie said they did not want to be peaking at this stage of their buildup and he felt nerves were a factor on the recent tour.
The team was named only last week.
"It's always a tough time for the athletes to settle and play with a lot of confidence. They have security of selection now and I would expect us to step up performance-wise heading into the Olympics."
As for their medal chances, Leslie was quietly confident his sixth-ranked side could be successful, but stressed how tough the competition was.
"The Dutch are ranked one but everyone else is relatively even on ability. It really just depends on the day.
"We are still quite a young side in terms of Olympic experience and age but on any given day we are quite capable of matching it with the best in the world."
Key areas for the Black Sticks to work on, Leslie said, were their attacking penalty corner set plays after a disappointing conversion rate on the recent tour.
He felt they had good potential in that area with a couple of drag-flick options and that was something they would work hard on when they headed away on July 9 for a pre-Olympic tournament in Germany where they will play the hosts, South Africa and Belgium.
While the team is relatively young at this level, there is a core of experience with Krystal Forgesson, Emily Naylor and Gemma Flynn backing up from Beijing and Sharland attending her third successive Olympics.
Leslie knows all about the Olympics. This is his third successive Games as an assistant coach, with a best of sixth in Athens.
"The Olympics are an amazing experience and you try and soak up the atmosphere.
"Beijing was disappointing results-wise. We finished 12th there. I'm going [to London] with a real focus on wanting this team to do well ... I will be very disappointed if we don't come away with some success at London."
Shepherd blends youth with experience in Celtic Cup squad selection
Cat Ralph vs SA
Scotland Women continue their preparations for the FIH World League I and Champions Challenge competitions later this summer with the Celtic Cup in Lisburn, Northern Ireland from 28-30 June.
Gordon Shepherd's squad selection mixes experience with a number of promising young players, who have the opportunity to stake their claim for places in the senior squad following encouraging displays against South Africa at Clydesdale earlier this month.
Nicola Skrastin, Ali Howie and Sarah Robertson all step up from the U21 squad, whilst Susan McGilveray, Aileen Davies, and Nicki Lloyd are provided with their chance to start building upon the number of international appearances for their country.
Head Coach Shepherd was praiseworthy of the younger players who have seamlessly made the transition to the senior set-up:
"I was delighted with the all the players' performances against South Africa, but to see the younger, less experienced players step up and compete physically with a team preparing for the London Olympics next month was fantastic. They coped with the pace and speed of the games and were not fazed at all".
The Scots will be out to defend the trophy, having won the Celtic Cup for a remarkable fifth season in succession at Inverclyde last year, but preparations for the World League I are at the forefront of Shepherd's thoughts:
"I'm keen to offer the opportunity to the younger players to gain experience at international level and the Celtic Cup offers an ideal platform. However, there are still other players who are in contention for the World League in August and they will be under consideration in the training sessions we have before we announce our selection for the competition.
"We have a couple of injuries as well, so the squad is by no means completely settled at this stage. We will set out to win the Celtic Cup but performances are what I'm focussing on primarily", said Shepherd.
Glasgow outfit Milne Craig Clydesdale Western provide seven of the eighteen player squad, including Women's Player of the Year Catriona Ralph. Grove Menzieshill's Ailsa Wyllie will edge closer to becoming the fifth international centurion in the squad, with the opportunity to add to her 90 caps for Scotland, whilst Nikki Kidd and Ali Bell will also add to their significant caps haul.
Great Britain players Laura Bartlett, Emily Maguire, Abi Walker and Vikki Bunce are all unavailable for selection.
Scotland Women: Amy Gibson, Holly Cram, Catriona Ralph, Nicola Skrastin, Susan McGilveray, Ali Howie, Morag McLellan (all Milne Craig Clydesdale Western), Ali Bell, Linda Clement, Ailsa Wyllie (all Grove Menzieshill), Becky Ward (VWS Dundee Wanderers), Sam Judge, Sarah Robertson (both Edinburgh University), Kareena Marshall (Giffnock), Becky Merchant (Surbiton), Nikki Kidd (Mannheimer), Aileen Davies (Clifton HC), Nicki Lloyd (Seven Oaks HC).
29th June 18.30 Scotland vs Ireland Lisnagarvey HC, Lisburn, N.Ireland
30th June 13.00 Scotland vs. Wales Lisnagarvey HC, Lisburn, N.Ireland
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Bajwa admits hockey team failure in Europe
LAHORE – Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary M Asif Bajwa on Tuesday said that Pakistan team’s performance in the Europe tour was not satisfactory and there is dire need of working on defence to stop conceding goals on penalty corners.
Talking to the reporters here on Tuesday after his return from Europe where he witnessed all the matches, Bajwa said: “The performance of our team was not satisfactory in the Europe tour where we conceded a dozen of goals off the short corners which is an alarming sign and we must address to this issue if we want to achieve good results in the London Olympics 2012.”
Pakistan lost to Belgium 6-1 in the opener and beat Germany 4-3 in the second match, then were beaten 2-0 by Germany in third match and managed a 3-3 draw against Holland in the last match of the tour. Belgium scored four goals off the short corners, Germany struck five goals in two matches and Holland hammered three goals to highlight flaws in the poor planning of the defenders and goalkeeper Imran Shah.
“There is a dire need of re-structuring the team’s entire defence while defending a penalty corner and special drills are needed to stop conceding that high number of goals off the short corners,” he added.
He urged the team management to look into this aspect and must come up with a solution to beef up the defence to deny space to then opponents during penalty corner drills. “The team is in final phase of its training for Olympics and it must lift the level of its performance before its participation in Olympics, during the last leg of training at home at a training camp to be established at Abbottabad from June 26,” he said and added: “We are aiming high to bring improvement to field a balanced team in Olympics to put up a good show.”
To a query, Bajwa replied: “The fitness level of layers is at top as they played two back-to-back events - Azlan Shah and Europe tour - as the team played four matches in five days with 12 players as Fareed got injured in the first match and three senior players could not accompany the team after not getting visas.”
To another query, he said: “They will be receiving the recommendations of the management of the back up camp in a couple of days to know the exact fitness level of the players including Rehan Butt.”
“The final trials for the selection of the teams for Olympics will be held in first week of July and then 16-member squad and two reserve players will be named,” he concluded.
Pakistan’s European tour performance unsatisfactory, says Bajwa
LAHORE: Terming Pakistan hockey team’s performance during the tour of Europe as ‘unsatisfactory’, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary general Mohammad Asif Bajwa has called for working on defence to stop conceding goals on penalty corners. “It was not a satisfactory performance during the tour of Europe where we conceded a dozen of goals off the short corners. This is an alarming sign and we must address to this issue if we want to achieve some good results in the London Olympics,” he told newsmen here on Tuesday after his return from Europe where he watched all the matches of the team. Pakistan lost to Belgium 6-1 in the opener and beat Germany 4-3 in the second match. The green shirts were beaten 2-0 by Germany in the third match and managed a 3-3 draw against Holland in the last match of the tour.
Bajwa said the Pakistan team conceded as many as a dozen of goals in four matches off short corners that was due to errors on part of the entire defence line. Belgium scored four goals off the short corners, Germany struck five goals in two matches and Holland hammered three goals to highlight flaws in the poor planning of the defenders and goalkeeper Imran Shah. “We need one hundred percent penalty corner conversion in the London Olympics if we want to reach the podium,” said the PHF official. He said Pakistan needed to re-structure its entire defence while defending a penalty corner and special drills were needed to stop conceding that high number of goals off the short corners.
Bajwa urged the team management to look into this aspect and must come up with a solution to make defence better and deny space to the opponents during penalty corner drills. He said the team were in the final phase of their training for the Olympics and must lift the level of their performance before participation in the Olympics. Bajwa praised the hard work and spirit of the players, especially junior players in the team and said they have the will and commitment to surge ahead which was a plus point. Bajwa said the final trials for the selection of the team for the Olympics would be held in first week of July and a 16-member squad and two reserve players will be named.
The Daily Times
Tanvir Dar Hockey Academy had a big win in the first match of the German leg of the Europe Tour
By Ijaz Chaudhry
After Belgium and Holland,the Dar HA reached Germany for the last leg of their European tour.
A few hours after their arrival, they faced the Essen hockey club,s youth team.
The visitors acquited themselves well and dominated the proceedings throughout.
Abid Bhatti was the star of the day, converting three penalty corners to notch a hat trick.
In the one sided game,the visitors were in front right from the start and led 3-0 at the interval.
The hosts scored their first goal in the 10th minute of the second half through Fabian Boxerg. But Dar HA continued adding to their tally at regular intervals. 7-1 was the final score.
Tanvir Dar Academy,Pakistan:7 (Abid Bhatti 3,Waseem Akram 2,Asad, Bilal Mahmood 1)
EssenHC Youth: 1 (Fabian Boxerg)
Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey and other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: www.sportscorrespondent.info
MOU Signed between Tanvir Dar Hockey Academy and the Leading Investment Firm of Germany
By Ijaz Chaudhry
Taqueer Dar, President Dar Hockey Academy with Anjum Dar, CEO DIF-WORLD
Tanvir Dar Hockey Academy is widely acknowledged as the best effort in the recent times to revive hockey in Pakistan at the grass root levels.
Established in 2006, Dar HA trained boys have been figuring in the national squads at all the levels.
Apart from providing training on the modern lines by the coaching team led by the Olympian M.Akhlaq, the boys are provided competition not only within the country but also outside Pakistan. The academy colts have been touring Europe every year since 2010. Academy’s excellent show during these visits plus its continuous supply of talent to the national outfits has caught the attention of many expat Pakistanis in Europe.
Many of them have extended cooperation and patronage in various ways: Facilitating academy teams during their visits, sending hockey equipment to Pakistan, sponsoring individual players, etc.
Anjum Dar, a former Pakistan under 19 international cricketer, living in Germany for a long time is the CEO of Dar Investment and Finance (DIF)- one of the biggest investment company in the country with business interests in many parts of the world. Mr Anjum Dar visited Tanvir Dar Hockey Academy in Lahore a few weeks back and pledged to provide a synthetic turf to the academy.
Now, during academy’s current tour of Europe, he has decided to make it a permanent bond. In a meeting with Olympic gold medalist Taqueer Dar, the president of Dar Academy, in the West German city of Essen, he has agreed to be the main sponsor of the academy.
As a first step, DIF is bearing the hotel expenses of the academy’s officials in Germany and have also taken the responsibility to provide halal Islamic food to all the players and the officials of the touring squad.
HC Essen 99 have been wonderful hosts to Dar Academy on their annual trips to Germany over last three years. Dar Academy officials considered appropriate to reciprocate and have invited the HC Essen team to tour Pakistan. The HC Essen gleefully accepted the offer. But they also indicated about the inability of families of some of the players to bear the travelling expenses of their sons. However, in a wonderful gesture, the DIF have offered to provide the air fare for the HC Essen players for their trip to Pakistan. “It is a way to thank the HC Essen 99 for their excellent hospitality to the Dar HA on their visits to Germany all these years” said Mr Anjum Dar, the CEO of DIF-World, ”moreover, HC Essen’s presence in Pakistan would encourage more international sports teams to visit the country”, he added.
Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey and other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: www.sportscorrespondent.info
Hockey Ground: SHC issues stay order on Rs60m project in PECHS
By Shaheryar Mirza
The SHC issued a stay order on Tuesday to stop the work on overhauling of the hockey ground. Shehri says the project is simply destroying the environment for trying to commercialise the area. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS
KARACHI: The residents of PECHS Block 2 were awoken on Monday morning to find out that the tree cover around the Khalid Bin Waleed Hockey Ground was chopped down by the Sindh government to make way for a boundary wall for a new Astroturf hockey ground. The people tried to stop the heavy machinery for two mornings straight but the damage had already been done.
About half of the century-old trees were ripped out from their roots and tossed aside. The spotlights and the bulbs that were torn down with the trees were installed with public money, according to the former councillor of the area, Javed Iqbal.
The incensed residents of the area protested and gathered signatures for a petition under the aegis of an NGO Shehri – Citizens for a Better Environment (Shehri-CBE). The stay order is effective till June 26.
The Sindh High Court issued a stay order on Tuesday against the administrators of District Municipal Corporation East and Karachi Metropolitan Corporation East to stop the work on overhauling of the hockey ground. Shehri says the project is simply destroying the environment for trying to commercialise the area.
Even the residents, including those who have been living in PECHS for decades, don’t buy what the government’s selling. “These were more than 34-year-old trees that were just ripped off without their roots,” said an angry resident who had come to protest against the project with Shehri. “This is just part of a design to commercialise this place! Do you think that the residents are so stupid as to just allow this to happen?”
Shehri’s Amber Alibhai said, “Two or three years ago they did the same thing and tried to put down Astroturf but nobody maintained it and it just destroyed the park. There isn’t even enough water for them to maintain an expensive blue Astroturf ground.”
Alibhai explained that the government should have asked each and every resident or businessman in the area before making a boundary wall. “These people have been living here for over 50 years and this is just a plot to eventually make the ground into a commercial academy right across the street from Qamar Ibrahim’s house.”
The current project to build the ground, which was inaugurated on June 12 is being undertaken by the Sindh government’s sports and youth affairs department as part of its annual development plan. More than 60 million rupees were allocated for this project, according to the sports and youth affairs secretary Mohammad Faheem.
He said that the Sindh government had nothing to do with the previous turf laid down in the hockey ground but the renovated ground will be state-of-the-art. “Those trees had to be cut,” he said. “A wall is absolutely necessary.”
Faheem said that no proper work was done on the ground before and the government has invited foreign experts to come and help out with the project. “The Astroturf is being imported from Holland,” he said. The trees will have to be cut if a wall is to be built. They will be replanted,” he assured. “But, I have no idea exactly how many.”
The managing committee of the project is being headed by a former renowned hockey player, Olympian Qamar Ibrahim, who sees this as a favour to the neighborhood. “So many Olympic hockey stars have come from this area, including myself,” he said while talking to The Express Tribune.
Faheem and Ibrahim both said that it will take about two to three months to prepare the base for the Astroturf and another seven months to complete the project which will also include a walking track, a block for offices and a sitting area. They insist that the ground will remain open to the public.
A resident who comes to walk in the ground every day from Garden East, said, “Nobody plays hockey here anymore. This was why the previous turf didn’t make any difference. They should provide opportunities for people but not by destroying what’s already present.”
The chief of the Karachi chapter of Jamaat-e-Islami, Muhammad Hussain Mehanti, also came to protest with the residents on Tuesday. “There are terrorists in this city who are grabbing every park to use for their own activities,” he said. “We have seen this happening before. They will slowly take control of the whole area.”
The Express Tribune
Indian hockey team boys go 'high altitude'
V Narayan Swamy
BANGALORE: The Indian hockey team is back at the hypoxic chamber in Pune for the second time in the last nine months. Last time, they trained in simulated conditions to counter the effects that Johannesburg, positioned at a high altitude, may throw up. This time, it is to enhance performance.
Devised by exercise physiologist David John and chief coach Michael Nobbs and monitored by team doctor Lt Col BK Nayak, altitude training involves breathing oxygen reduced air for a considerable period of time. Not an easy task for players who have to also endure falling energy levels during the gruelling workout but the benefits are immense.
"Earlier, athletes had to live at high altitudes to develop better endurance. But now, it can be simulated. The chamber at the Balewadi complex in Pune is being used for the first time by an Olympic team. Hypoxic training artificially lowers oxygen content in the air while training, simulating conditions prevalent in high altitudes," Nayak told TOI.
"Exposing the human body to these conditions helps in building better endurance. It increases appreciably the production of red blood cells and erythropoietin ( EPO) in the body, leading to efficient delivery of oxygen to the muscles. Reduced oxygen means the body adapts itself to use it more efficiently. Better utilisation of oxygen improves local muscle endurance. The onset of fatigue is delayed," Nayak, who is an SMO at Indian Military Academy, explained.
While altitudes upto 6,400 metres can be simulated in such chambers, the Indian team is now training at 'a height of 3,000 metres'. "Compared to the oxygen content of 20.94 per cent at sea level, the level in the chamber is around 16-18 per cent. You can well imagine the conditions the team is exposed to," Nayak said.
The workouts include the treadmill and the upper body cycle ergometer (to improve the local muscle endurance in the upper body) on alternate days at a pre-decided intensity. "For example, players work out in batches of two on the treadmill at a time in the glass chamber. Each player runs on the treadmill for 30 seconds at 20 kmph before the other takes over. This is done for an hour."
The routine may have left the team and the think-tank with time for little else since June 11 but Nayak stresses on its merits, pointing to the increasing popularity of this method around the world, particularly China. "They follow the live-high-train-low principle to the core, staying and training in such low oxygen systems for virtually 24 hours. Their sports science is so advanced that even during sleep, they control the flow of oxygen through the AC ducts."
While studies claim that complete acclimatisation to altitude may take around 3-4 weeks, Nayak feels the adaptations are palpable by the first week. "We trained at an altitude of 5,000 metres for 15 days before going to Johannesburg for the Champions Challenge last year. This time, the training could last for around 12 days. With London almost at sea level, we expect a better performance."
The army man should know as his expertise, which lies in this field, was put to good use earlier during his stint at a height of 22,000 feet at the Siachen glacier. Nobbs was happy that Nayak and John had introduced the programme to the Indian team. "Most hockey teams have resorted to high altitude training. Germany does it all the time. It increases speed, strength and recovery. Players feel less tired," he said.
Does it mean a change in substitution pattern? "No. We would still maintain the routine. But with recovery being quicker, I get more latitude during substitutions," he said.
* High altitude is defined as any elevation above 1,500 metres (5,000 ft).
* Altitude training or hypoxic training involves exercising in, living in or otherwise breathing oxygen reduced air to improve athletic performance. Earlier, athletes lived and trained at high elevations. Now, hypoxic chambers simulate altitudes of up to 6,400m.
* Low Ox training helps in training the body to use oxygen more efficiently. Hence the onset of fatigue is delayed and recovery is quicker. Athletes who use oxygen training may find that they are able to build better levels of endurance.
* Such training increases the amount of oxygen-carrying red blood cells which help in enhancing athletic performance, especially in endurance sports.
* The live-high, train-low principle involves living at higher altitudes to experience increased erythropoietin (EPO), red blood cell and haemoglobin levels and higher VO2 max (aerobic capacity), while maintaining the same exercise intensity during training at sea level.
* Studies suggest that training at altitude can improve performance at sea level to a certain extent.
* At Balewadi, Pune, the altitude is maintained at 3,000 metres which is almost equivalent to 16-18 per cent of oxygen. The player run on the treadmill as well train on the upper body cycle ergometer on alternate days. The oxygen content of the ambient air at the sea level is 20.94 per cent.
* Full acclimatization to altitude takes 3-4 weeks but many of the physiological adaptations occur in the first week.
The Times of India
Chetri says first target is Olympic semis
Indian hockey team captain Bharat Chetri on Tuesday said that their first target would be to make the semifinals at the London Olympics, to be held from July 27 to August 12.
“Germany and the Netherlands are two strong teams in our group. But we can beat any team. Our first target is the semifinals and then we will work ourselves out,” Chetri told reporters in Kolkata
The eight-time Olympic winners have been clubbed alongside reigning champions Germany, Korea, New Zealand, Belgium and Netherlands in pool B and two teams from each pool make the last four.
Heaping praise on physical trainer David John, Chetri said the team’s fitness has improved immensely.
“We are among the fittest teams now and ready to give a good fight to our foreign opponents. Earlier the fitness level used to be around 40 per cent. Now, it’s 90 per cent.”
Chetri said that under Aussie coach Michael Nobbs, the team was playing a more attacking game. “He has changed our defensive style of play and we are playing more attacking games and creating more chances.
“We are practising hard after seeing the video footage of our opponents. We have strategies, which I can’t discuss here,” he said.
“This is the best available 16. We have not left out anyone. We’ve full faith on the abilities on our players. If you see our recent matches we are conceding less in penalty corners,” he said.
Our fitness has made a difference: Chetri
Calcutta: Leading the India hockey squad at the London Olympics will not put goalkeeper Bharat Chetri under any additional pressure.
“It’s an honour to lead the country at the Olympics. I have led the team in the past also and I’m aware of my duties and responsibilities as a captain… I don’t think there will be added pressure on me. In fact, I enjoy captaincy,” Chetri said on the sidelines of the state government’s felicitation on Tuesday.
A total of 556 sportpersons from various disciplines were feted for their achievements.
Speaking on his role as captain, Chetri said: “I’m the last line of defence… Being the goalkeeper of the side, it helps me to watch the proceedings from behind. It becomes easier for me to direct the players.”
Chetri is the first goalkeeper from Bengal to play in the Olympics in 32 years after Bir Bahadur Chetri in Moscow in 1980.
“In 1980, the side had returned with a gold medal for a record eighth time… That was also the last occasion when the country had won the event. I hope the fact that we could not win a gold medal for the last 32 years will inspire the boys.”
Chetri asserted that the team were playing more attacking hockey under Australian coach Michael Nobbs.
“Nobbs has changed our defensive style of play… We are playing a more attacking game and creating more chances. Earlier, we used to play more in the midfield. Now, we are concentrating more in the opponent’s box,” said Chetri.
Chetri said that he was pleased with the team composition. “This is the best available XVI. We have not left out anyone. We’ve full faith in our abilities and I’m confident that we will do a good job.”
Chetri said India’s first target would be to make the semi-finals at the Olympics.
India have been clubbed with reigning champions Germany, Korea, New Zealand, Belgium and the Netherlands in pool B. Chetri picked Germany and the Netherlands as the strong contenders from the group to qualify for the last-four stage.
“Germany and the Netherlands are two strong teams in our group. But we can beat any team on our day. Our first target is to qualify for the semi-finals,” Chetri said.
Chetri also heaped praise on physical trainer David John. “We are among the fittest teams and are ready to give a good fight to our foreign opponents. Earlier the fitness level used to be around 40 per cent. Now, it’s 90 per cent. Our fitness has made a difference.”
Chetri praised the Indian drag-flick specialists Sandeep Singh and V.R. Raghunath and said the duo were among the best.
“We are relying heavily on our drag-flickers… We have got the best drag-flickers — Sandip and Raghunath — in our side. They will play a huge role in our gameplan,” Chetri said.
The Telegraph, India
West Bengal government felicitates sportpersons
KOLKATA: Bharat Chetri, who will lead the Indian hockey team at next month's London Olympics, was among the 556 sportpersons who were awarded with a total purse of Rs 30 lakh during a felicitation ceremony by the West Bengal government at the Netaji Indoor stadium on Tuesday.
The Darjeeling-born Chetri along with 25 former sportpersons of international repute were given INR 50,000 each.
There were also cash rewards for 530 sportpersons who had won medals at various age-group events at the national level.
"We want to encourage the budding sportpersons of this state. We hope they go on to achieve something and remember this day as a milestone in their respective careers," Sports Minister Madan Mitra said.
The Awardees: Rahul Banerjee (archery), Ramnath Banerjee (paralympic athletics), Shakti Majumder (boxing), Naresh Kumar (tennis), Sobhita Chatterjee (shooting), Laxmikanta Das (weightlifting), Shabbir Ali, Prodyut Barman, Sanat Seth, Arun Ghosh, Prasanta Sinha, Paltu Roy, Ahmed Khan (football), Kuntal Roy, Pranab Banerjee (athletics), Bholanath Guin (kabaddi and weightlifting), Indu Puri (table tennis), Keshav Dutt, Yashvant Rajput, Bharat Chetri (hockey), Gorachand Sil, Suhash Chatterjee (waterpolo), Subrabhat Chakraborty, Tarit Sett (cycling); Posthumously: Monotosh Roy (body building), Sachin Nag (swimming).
The Times of India
Adrian D’Souza banned for 1 year
Former India hockey goalkeeper Adrian D’Souza was on Monday suspended for one year by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) for violating an anti-doping rule.
The decision was taken by NADA’s disciplinary panel on Monday. D’Souza, who has more than 100 international caps to his name, had tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a by-product of marijuana, in a sample collected after the World Series Hockey match at Jalandhar in March last year. D’Souza was the captain of his side Mumbai Marines.
D’Souza provided an affidavit signed by a friend stating that he had attended a party in his house during which he had possibly potentially exposed himself to marijuana. Based on a supplementary affidavit submitted by D’Souza on Monday, the day the order was scheduled to be pronounced, the disciplinary panel, headed by retired judge Dinesh Dayal, reduced the suspension to one year.
Army whips Police vets
Four different players were on target as Defence Force outplayed Police 4-2 in the “Battle of Services” in the T&T Hockey Board Mixed Veterans Division at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Monday night. Anton Reyes, Neil Lashley, Avonelle Lee-Huggins and Brian Burroughs were all on target for the “Teteron Boys” who moved up to third with 22 points from 11 matches after the win while Glennon Foncette and Anthony Reyes netted for Police. However, Queen’s Park can move to within a point of a second straight title in the Mixed Division tomorrow from 8 pm with a win over Carib, in a match re-scheduled from Monday night. The Parkites currently lead the eight-team table with 30 points from 11 matches, six ahead of Notre Dame which has only one match left to play. Third placed Defence Force is the only team that can catch the Parkites as it lies nine points off the lead with three to play. But in order to claim the title, Defence Force must win its remaining matches and hope the Parkites falter in all last last three matches.
CURRENT T&THB MIXED VETERANS STANDINGS
Teams P W D L F A Pts
QPCC 11 10 0 1 69 16 30
Dames 13 8 0 5 39 32 24
D/Force 11 7 1 3 40 29 22
Carib 12 6 1 5 38 24 19
Fatima 10 5 0 5 27 37 15
Malvern 10 4 2 4 27 26 14
Police 12 1 0 11 7 56 3
Petrotrin 8 0 0 8 5 44 0
Mixed Veterans: Fatima vs Malvern,
Mixed Veterans: Carib vs QPCC,
Championship Women: Notre Dame vs Magnolias, 6.30 pm
Championship Men: Fatima vs QPCC, 8 pm.
The Trinidad Guardian
Vancouver Hawks Field Hockey Club makes substantial donation to Right to Play
Play It Forward
This past weekend, representatives of the Vancouver Hawks Field Hockey Club and Field Hockey Canada met with local Right to Play volunteer organizer, Stephen Scott, in order to present a charitable donation to the international aid organization. The money was raised in a month long campaign by the club amongst its members to support Right to Play. The club raised $2785.11 and received an additional $2000 in matching funds from corporate sponsors Western Potash and Discovery Harbour Resources for a total donation of $4785.11.
This is the 4th year that the Vancouver Hawks FHC has supported Right to Play through a weekend of hockey under the theme Canada vs. the Rest of the World. Anne Thompson, president of the Vancouver Hawks club, comments, “This fundraiser has become an important part of the culture of our hockey club. This year more than 90 adult members of our club participated and many more donated time and money to the effort. We are happy to support Right to Play and its international effort to help children because we understand from our own experience the transformative power of sport to change lives.”
Field Hockey Canada arranged for the matching corporate donations through its partnership with Western Potash and Discovery Harbour Resources - part of its Play it Forward campaign.
Field Hockey Canada media release