Sonepat (Haryana) [India], November 2 (ANI): In a bid to encourage State Member Units to resume activities and ensure they are following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the National Governing Body, Hockey India has been in constant touch with officials from State Units.
One of the State Member Units who have actively resumed activities at the local level after Minister of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines allowed sporting activities to resume from September 21, 2020 is Hockey Haryana.
About 350-400 young players between the age group of 15-21 years have begun hockey activities and have been regularly attending the district-level camps.
Indian Women's Team Captain Rani, who is currently in SAI, Bengaluru said she is happy to see young players resume sports activities in Haryana.
"I am very happy to see young players returning to sports activities in Haryana. I am in touch with some of the women's players from my hometown Shahabad and they send me videos of them playing hockey and it makes me very proud to see them follow all the norms," said Rani who is currently in SAI, Bengaluru for the National Coaching Camp.
Hockey hotbeds like Sonipat, Hissar, Jind, Bhiwani, Rohtak, and Shahabad Markanda have begun coaching camps at the district-level while Sonipat also has resumed their centralised state-level camp.
"Thanks to Hockey India issuing the SOPs as early as May this year, we had enough time to be prepared for activities to resume once orders came from MHA. We had already circulated the SOPs to our district units and ensured these SOPs were implemented especially in those areas where hockey is popular," said Sunil Malik, Secretary-General, Hockey Haryana.
"We are in touch with several local Coaches to ensure safety parameters are followed. We have very strong state teams from Haryana at different age-group categories and it is good to see players back on the field after such a long gap," he added.
Also, in a big step towards developing international standard infrastructure in Haryana, the state has invested in a brand-new pitch in Narwana district, which has recently received the distinction of being FIH Global category certified pitch.
Hockey India has over the years encouraged its State Member Units to develop international standard pitches in their respective regions in order to grow the sport further. As a result of this proactive approach, India has become the second country to have recorded the largest number of FIH Global category certified pitches in the world.
The funding to construct the pitch in Narwana came from Haryana State Govt and Hockey India through Hockey Haryana supported the state's initiative for FIH certification.
Hockey Haryana, which is a State Member Unit of Hockey India provides coaching support to all its registered players at Narwana by its registered Coaches. Young players at the Jind district as well receive extensive support and guidance by registered coaches of Hockey Haryana
"It is good to see Hockey Haryana take proactive measures to develop the sport at the state-level. They have produced top quality players in the past and they are big contributors in building strong pool of players in India at the senior and junior level," said Gyanendro Ningombam, Officiating President, Hockey India.
"After a brief pause in activities due to a series of nationwide lockdowns, we are happy to see players resuming activities in Haryana and we will encourage more State Units to follow safe measures in returning to sporting activities," he added.
Haryana government with the support of Hockey Haryana is already running a coaching centre at the new pitch. In addition, Hockey Haryana is planning to conduct National Level tournaments at the facility in the near future keeping in mind the state guidelines pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic. (ANI)