Hockey was once India’s national sport. Over the last 30 odd years, India’s hockey performance has seen a dramatic decline coinciding with changed rules and ground conditions. By not adopting astro-turf, which is the only surface on which hockey is played at the world stage, our players have been severely hampered. The problems facing hockey administration have only made matters worse.
Of late there has been a growing effort to improve India’s world standing. From getting foreign coaches to the establishing of the Indian Hockey League, there is resurgence in the interest to put hockey on track. Newer astro-turf grounds have also started coming up. However, years of neglect have meant that the grass root level structure has been left weakened. Earlier hockey thrived because there was great interest at the school level and talent could progressively move up in a structured manner.
For India to remerge as force to reckon with on the world stage it is necessary to start at the very beginning in school. There is no substitute to finding the right talent at an early age and then groom the children in current methods and techniques so that they have the right foundation to play the game at the world stage. At ASF our aim is to do just this and revive hockey to its glory years.
Coorg has always been a happy hunting ground for some of hockey talent. Coorg has consistently contributed great hockey talent to the Indian team. In fact Coorg has the world’s largest hockey tournament conducted every year. Here there is a natural inclination for the game resulting in a large pool of talent.