Recipe for hockey success

Winning passage for the London Games by the Bharat Chettri led Indian men hockey team on Sunday at the Capital’s National stadium, came at a time when graph of the game was on the down swing.

The victory, however, is expected not only to bring back Indian hockey back to reckoning at the global level but would encourage many youngsters across the country who sweat regularly to carve a niche at the national level.

Four years ago, when Indian squad failed to overcome England in Chile, it ended their hopes of making it to 2008 Beijing games. Then the followers of the game were in state of shock, wondering what went wrong with once super power in the game. But winning ticket to London Games, has rekindled hope again!

Behind the win, few would know what sacrifice the team members had to make. Take for example team skipper couldn’t go home to see his parents in Siliguri for the past one year. Even newly married Tushar Khandker, one of the key members of the team, wasn’t able to spend much time with his wife in December last. He joined the national camp immediately after his marriage.

Other members of the victorious too give up something or the other to contribute to win. In case of drag flicker Sandeep Singh who top scored in the tournament, he had to change his menu to shed extra flab around his waist.

To keep himself match fit, it was less of chocolates and candies and more of healthy stuff.

The men’s team though did manage to plug in gaps to take the right path, it was big setback for women’s team. They were close yet so far. If they haven’t got ticket to London, partially people running hockey affairs should be responsible for the failure.

Women’s team in fact got step-motherly treatment in the build-up months leading to important tournament like Olympic qualifiers. Comparatively, men team had more professional support staff than women team that had to go without the services of medical expert for sometimes.

Federation had appointed a professional physical trainer like David John for men’s team. Had they done the same for women team, they wouldn’t have been sulking.

By Navneet Singh

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