Hockey is the national game of India. Hockey is basically an English game that was introduced to India by the British. The British regiments brought up this game before Independence and from then Hockey became a famous game in our country.
India started gaining attention through the game Hockey. In 1928, India made history winning gold medal in the Amsterdam Olympics. Dhyan Chand, the most prominent Hockey player of India, made our country reach heights during his tenure in the team. The period he was with our Indian Team was considered the Golden Era of Indian Hockey Team. Not only him; Balbir Singh, Dhanraj Pillai and Dilip Tirke are few other remarkable players who marked their footprints in the history of India Hockey.
In order to add another chapter to the rich legacy of Hockey in India and with World Hockey Olympics 2021 round the corner our team decided to launch a campaign regarding the same. This campaign of ours shall try to cover the status of Hockey as National Game in different states of our country through a series of interviews of dignitaries associated with the game at state levels. Along with this the campaign will also highlight the prospects of Team India in 2021 Hockey Olympics. We today bring you the first edition of this series in which we present you the Interview of Mr. Lawrence Bing, Hockey Secretary, Mumbai Schools Sports Association. Mumbai Schools Sports Association, this year has completed its 128 years of establishment and needless to say Mr. Lawrence proudly presented us with the entire legacy of Mumbai Schools Sports Association along with his interview. Here are the details of the same.
Mr.Lawrence told us that :
I would take this opportunity to address this important aspect of Development Programme with a microscopic view from the city of Mumbai, more specifically since I too am a local lad, and also being Hockey Secretary to Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) – 125 year old organization developing sports among institutions.
Hockey being our National Game comes naturally to the city of Mumbai who have produced many budding players having gone to don India colors.
To place on record, we would like to state MSSA has been the only active organization to nurture a grassroots programme to pursue talent in the youngest categories of Under 10, Under 12, Under 14 and further upto Under 16, organizing a mammoth 12 Annual Tournaments.
A selection pool camp of almost 200 players reporting for National in the Under 16 categories for Boys and Girls is another feature of this hard work.
The Olympic Day 2020 Celebrations by Hockey India this year saw a record number of participants taking part in spite of lockdown restrictions affecting the city, which enabled MSSA feature with a Silver Spoon 2nd Place in overall standing.
This dedication from MSSA has enabled us keep the game kicking and alive. MSSA has identified the importance for providing and developing varied opportunities for grass roots to create a passion to pursue the game further.
This approach from MSSA has helped us to professionalise and create grassroots level hockey structure in India’s commercial capital, Mumbai and also create a passionate atmosphere of Trust and engagement among school coaches.
Our future plans include setting up training and coaching structures on a regular basis in the Suburbs and in South Mumbai
(2). Hockey India role with different states
MSSA would like to appreciate the commendable active role initiated by Hockey India with numerous activities planned for member states and academies.
Hockey India has also played a very important role in promoting the game through different platforms of social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… to name a few which has further instilled a sense of passion among the youth, to take note of.
I would also like to personally place suggestions to restart Hockey India Premier League, which creates a battery of talent among youngsters who pursue the game seriously.
(3). What would you say about our campaign for Men’s and women’s Indian hockey team at Tokyo Olympic 2021.
Being an ardent follower of the game, we’ve been closing watching how both our national teams have been preparing their roles towards representing our country at the Olympics in Tokyo 2021.
A visible long term program and a complete overhaul of the structure, coaching techniques, diet, mental training and most important being physically fit to match any formidable nation on a given day has been a change which we’ve noticed towards our preparations @ the Olympics in Tokyo 2021.
(4). Do you think media not supporting hockey like cricket.
Media plays a constructive role in any sport and sadly in our country Media firms and houses have shied away from their responsibilities in promoting our National Sport – Hockey. This attitude has also allowed big corporates to stay away from being part of a support system in Hockey which further generates interests in the game.