The Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams’ by virtue of reaching the last four at Tokyo Olympic Games has scripted a re-birth of hockey in India, thus emerging from the Shadow of its glorious past and looking back, we’ve lived a long time.
With the men’s team breaking this jinx to secure a bronze medal after 41 years, the women making their maiden semifinal appearance displayed a superb turnaround of grit, mental strength and passion with their display in Tokyo.
Indias Tokyo Journey
This journey well begun has infused the right balance of youth and experience into the Indian teams, where matches and exposure against top international sides helped our players to get into the grind with preparations in full flow in Tokyo.
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The resurrection of Indian hockey in the Tokyo Olympics is bound to have a huge impact on the way our masses will look towards hockey and will inspire future generations. With this win, there will be a wind of change and revival, to inspire children to take up the game. This passion is bound to create a huge talent and a pyramid of young talent, who will compete at the grassroots levels. This will also give a glimpse of a better future for hockey and there is no looking back from hereon.
Government towards Hockey
The Government has to play a proactive role along with state bodies and associations and come up with a blueprint to invest and develop state-of-the-art infrastructure, to enable grassroots to look at pursuing hockey seriously. We can’t let this success story of Tokyo be defeated with a lacklustre approach towards Hockey.
Looking at Mumbai, the financial capital of India has had a great hockey culture, tradition and ecosystem. The system has seen a battery of players, who have seen the sport in all its glory and have also seen its decline. Hopefully, the historic win of the men’s bronze and with the women’s team winning the hearts and emotions of every Indian citizen will see the revival in Mumbai hockey, having a glorious tradition of producing champion players.
We do not have to look back from here on especially at the grassroots level as One medal will prove to be the catalyst of change and usher in fresh talent in the city of Mumbai. The hockey teams have made us Indians proud again and also inspired millions of girls that dreams can come true as long as you work hard for it and believe it.
A special salute to the coaches of both the teams, Graham Reid & Sjoerd Marijne, for inculcating modern strategies to Indian skills and motivating the team. We should also credit Hockey India & SAI for creating a roadmap and an excellent environment to succeed. There has been professionalism, a scientific approach and accountability in place.
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They should now use this opportunity to reignite the fans and make this a ‘Passion sport’ for Indians by extending this professionalism right to the grassroots level.
The Premier Hockey League (PHL) should be kickstarted again soon, as we have seen how Belgium being a non-entity 15 years ago to becoming the colossal giants, only due to the fact that they have the best league and grassroots program for hockey in the world today.
We MSSA has done an exemplary job at the grassroots level, but sadly since there is no Corporate support, the kids drop out of the game. Mumbai was once considered the ‘Nursery’ of Hockey, but there is no one representing the Indian team today. We should bring back the glory days of yesteryear’s and I would like to request our young and energetic Minister Shri Aditya Thackeray who has been doing a great job with football, to help out Mumbai Hockey by installing small astroturf grounds in various parts of Mumbai.
Hopefully, youths pick up Hockey as a career.
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