Plans to revive hockey - in hues of pink and blueAugust 17th, 2012 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, Aug 17 (IANS) With the present Indian hockey team giving its worst performance in the London Olympics, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal wants a colourful revival for the national game - in shades of pink and blue to be precise, a’ la London.
When India was a formidable hockey playing nation at the international level, the dusty grounds of Sansarpur, a village on the outskirts of Jalandhar, used to be the nursery of champion players. Now Badal plans to resurrect the game in the state by duplicating the colours of the Astroturf in London.
Badal, who is also Punjab Sports Minister and was in London last week for the Olympic Games, has drawn up a Rs.418-crore plan to strengthen the sports infrastructure in the state.
Accompanied on the trip by Parminder Singh Dhindsa, the Finance Minister of fund-starved and debt-ridden Punjab, and Pargat Singh, former Indian hockey team captain and Olympian, who is now a legislator of the ruling Akali Dal, Badal said he was committed to restoring “Punjab’s old glory in hockey”.
He said the upcoming hockey stadium at Mohali, near Chandigarh, would have blue and pink colour astroturfs on the lines of the ones used in the London Games. He went around the hockey stadiums in London, where the Indian team was on a losing spree.
While neighbouring Haryana is claiming that four out of the six medals won by India this time were bagged by players with Haryana connections — wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, shooter Gagan Narang and badminton ace Saina Nehwal — Punjab has none to show on its report card this time.
Badal’s ambitious sporting plans include better sports infrastructure, nurturing sporting talent right from Class 1 and building the competitive spirit among players.
“We have already constructed seven hockey stadiums with world class astroturfs and seven more would be added in the next three years,” Badal said after meeting top International Hockey Federation functionaries in London.
Under one of the plans for revival of hockey in the state, the Punjab government has decided to support the Surjit Hockey Society which organises the annual Surjit memorial hockey tournament in the state. The tournament is in the memory of former Olympian Surjit Singh Randhawa, an acclaimed full back in the game, who died in a car accident in 1984.
(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at email@example.com)
- Army chief calls for restoring India's glory in hockey - May 28, 2012
- Hockey captain Pargat wins from Jalandhar - Mar 06, 2012
- Five Punjab players appointed police officers - Jul 18, 2011
- Hooda's sporting decision becomes political game (Haryana Newsletter) - Apr 21, 2012
- HC verdict reinforces our stand on WSH: FIH - Feb 15, 2012
- Exhibition at Royal Opera House telling stories behind the Olympics - Jul 28, 2012
- Haryana grooms sporting talent for India's future - Nov 29, 2010
- Doping taint hurts kabaddi anti-drug campaign - Nov 15, 2011
- Badal allocates portfolios, son keeps home, excise - Mar 15, 2012
- Relatives find enough place in Badal cabinet - Mar 13, 2012
- Olympians with Haryana connection earn millions - Aug 12, 2012
- Punjab Games to have rich cash incentives - Nov 10, 2010
- Asia to host hockey's five continents tournament - May 06, 2011
- Haryana Police to give Rs. 51 lakh to Yogeshwar Dutt - Aug 23, 2012
- Indian hockey's worst performance ever: Olympic gold medallists - Aug 10, 2012
Tags: astroturf, champion players, chandigarh, deputy chief minister, finance minister, haryana, hockey stadium, hockey team, indian hockey, international hockey, jalandhar, london games, london olympics, narang, national game, old glory, olympic games, parminder singh, sukhbir singh badal, sushil kumar