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India: Hockey Nice M.M. Somaya Sheds Gentle On Event’s Significance

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~Somaya additionally foresees a fast rebound for the Indian Girls’s Hockey Workforce with strategic enhancements and training after lacking out on the Paris Olympics’ berth~

New Delhi, twelfth March 2024: M.M. Somaya, celebrated former Captain of the Indian Males’s Hockey Workforce, who was additionally a part of the 1980 Olympics’ Gold medal successful squad, views the latest girls’s hockey setback – failing to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics – as a short lived glitch. He asserts that with strategic enhancements and efficient teaching, the workforce is poised for a swift rebound.

Within the newest episode of Hockey Te Charcha, a podcast collection launched by Hockey India, Somaya mentioned the present state of Indian hockey, with a concentrate on girls’s hockey. He make clear how the upcoming 14th Hockey India Senior Girls Nationwide Championship and the proposed introduction of a Hockey India Girls’s League mark important steps in aligning with the mentioned methods for expertise improvement and the general progress of ladies’s hockey in India.

Speaking concerning the setbacks confronted by the Indian Girls’s Hockey Workforce in the course of the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifiers, Somaya expressed disappointment over the missed alternative however emphasised the necessity to analyse and tackle particular areas, corresponding to penalty nook conversions and accidents to key gamers.

“We boast a proficient lineup of gamers, but a important facet that warrants consideration is our efficiency in essential moments, notably in the course of the Asian Video games and Olympics Qualifiers. Ending, significantly in penalty corners, has been an space the place we fell barely brief. Regardless of going through the setback of lacking key gamers within the Qualifiers in Ranchi attributable to accidents, we acknowledge that this could not function an excuse. It underscores the necessity for targeted enchancment and strategic planning to deal with these challenges successfully,” Somaya mentioned.

“Nevertheless, I consider, girls’s hockey has come up in leaps and bounds over the past 4 to 6 years. We’re so delighted to see them. Even after the Tokyo Olympics, the place they completed fourth, they’ve performed some superb hockey,” he added.

In a forward-looking dialogue, Somaya proposed beginning expertise improvement packages for under-12s and under-16s, emphasizing the significance of widening the expertise pool to areas past conventional hubs.

“Our focus should shift in direction of nurturing expertise from the grassroots degree. Establishing academies and aggressive leagues for aspiring gamers ought to ideally begin on the under-12 stage. Many current academies provoke packages solely on the under-16 degree, which is a delayed begin. We should prioritize evaluating the performances of younger abilities recognized on the age of 12 after they attain the under-16 degree, emphasizing steady enchancment methods,” Somaya asserted.

“One other essential facet of expertise identification is the geographical focus from restricted areas, primarily Haryana, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab. Nevertheless, quite a few untapped pockets throughout India are wealthy with expertise. Guaranteeing equal alternatives, publicity, and correct teaching turns into crucial. To deal with this, we should broaden our attain from the grassroots, casting a wider internet and interesting gamers at a youthful age. This complete method is significant for long-term improvement and success,” he added.

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Expressing optimism concerning the future, Somaya mentioned the potential advantages of building a Hockey League for girls. “Introducing a Hockey League for girls holds immense potential. This initiative wouldn’t solely present beneficial publicity but additionally foster confidence and instil a profound sense of perception within the girls’s workforce. It stands as a key component for his or her improvement, getting ready them for upcoming tournaments and making certain a brighter future for girls’s hockey.”

Looking forward to the upcoming 14th Hockey India Senior Girls Nationwide Championship 2024 in Pune, Somaya harassed the occasion’s significance for figuring out and nurturing rising expertise. He advocated for the creation of a improvement squad to enrich the principle workforce, fostering a pipeline of gamers for the long run.

“The Senior Nationwide Championship performs a vital position in expertise identification. With a core group of about 30 gamers in the course of the Olympic preparations, it’s important to have a broader scope. By decreasing the choice to 30 however sustaining a improvement workforce akin to cricket’s A workforce, we guarantee gamers who miss the principle squad nonetheless have alternatives. This method nurtures expertise at junior ranges and promotes a sturdy improvement squad. It’s important to increase past the principle workforce, fostering expertise, enhancing requirements, and establishing a steady provide of expert gamers for the long run,” Somaya said.

In the meantime, Somaya counseled the strides made in amenities for each the lads’s and girls’s groups, acknowledging the assist from the Sports activities Authority of India (SAI) and the Ministry of Sports activities. He emphasised that these developments have contributed considerably to the latest progress in Indian hockey.

“The amenities in latest instances, and what a marked enchancment through the years, not solely by way of amenities but additionally by way of personnel. They make use of a few of the most meritorious coaches and a few of the finest practitioners out there internationally,” Somaya remarked in the course of the podcast.

Discussing the efficiency of the Indian Males’s Hockey Workforce, Somaya highlighted their standout efficiency within the Asian Video games, acknowledging the problem of going through larger competitors from Europe and Australia within the upcoming tournaments, particularly within the Paris Olympics. He expressed confidence within the expertise and steadiness throughout the workforce, emphasizing the significance of strategic planning and relaxation intervals between tournaments.

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