Stokes ready to steer Indian hockey

August 5th, 2010 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Aug 5 (IANS) Hockey India (HI) president Vidya Stokes Thursday said she is prepared to bring back the old glory of the game.
“It’s an opportunity for me to bring hockey back to its old glory. For this we need to mobilise more funds both for the game and the players,” Stokes told IANS.

Stokes, who was the interim HI president, was elected defeating former India captain and Olympian Pargat Singh in elections in Delhi. Narinder Batra was elected the secretary general defeating Arunachal Pradesh’s Gumjum Haider.

The 83-year-old Stokes, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, said: “Our main priority is to equip the players with modern gadgets and extend maximum facilities. For this, our efforts would be to mobilise big business houses and organizations to support the game,” she said.

Stokes contested the election ignoring the government guidelines on age limit for office bearers of National Sports Federations. The guidelines stipulate 70 as the age limit. “I work harder than many others who may be younger to me,” she said.

“I was interested in hockey when I was not even in politics in the early 1960s. In sports federations, it’s the experience and administrative capacity that matters,” she said.

Stokes said Pargat, who lost the election, is part of the hockey family.

“We will take him along in policy and planning to improve the game.”

She said women’s hockey has been doing well for the past couple of years.

“But we cannot stop here. For men, we have to work hard and bring the spirit back,” said Stokes, who was the president of the erstwhile Indian Women’s Hockey Federation (IWHF).

The Supreme Court has asked HI not to implement the outcome of the election until it disposes off the cases before it. A detailed hearing on the case will take place Aug 19.

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