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Border Battle Hockey Championship concludes amid some technical flaws; Hockey J&K not taken on board – Poonch Today
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Border Battle Hockey Championship concludes amid some technical flaws; Hockey J&K not taken on board


Border Battle Hockey Championship concludes amid some technical flaws; Hockey J&K not taken on board

Border Battle Hockey Championship concludes amid some technical flaws; Hockey J&K not taken on board



POONCH: Organized under Operation Sadbhavana, the Border Battle Hockey Championship concluded here the other day, in which seven boys and five girls teams participated, mostly from outside J&K. In the girls category, K.K. Hockey Club Jammu beat Stadium XI Jammu, while in the boys category, Sonipat beat Poonch XI. Maj. Gen. Gourav Rishi, GOC 25 Division, was the chief guest on the occasion, while Deputy Commissioner Poonch Mohd Yasin Choudhary (IAS) and SSP Poonch Yougal Manhas (JKPS) were special invitees on the occasion.

The overall proceedings of the championship were conducted by renowned and decorated anchor Pardeep Khanna. After the finals, prizes were distributed among the participants and outstanding persons who brought laurels to Poonch district in different capacities. The championship was inaugurated by Commander 93 Infantry Brigade Muddit Mahajan on February 22. It was a big event for the local players to watch, and the initiative taken by the Army helped youngsters learn good skills from the visiting teams by witnessing all the matches. This was the first ever hockey championship of the highest level organized here at Poonch by the organizers under Operation Sadbhavana. It is important to mention here that hockey in Poonch district remained famous for over a hundred years, during which many known and lesser-known people played a bigger part in promoting the game. In 1930, the Poonch team went to Lahore, where former hockey greats like Ved Charlie of Poonch City and others played outstandingly. Late DYSSO, S Netar Singh; Retd DYSSO, Prem Parkash Luthra (NIS); Late Sham Lal Sharma (SAI) hockey coach who gave coaching to boys and girls for years; S Manjeet Singh, Retd Librarian; and S Rajinder Singh, Retd DYSSO, remained big forces amongst other great hockey players who were instrumental in the promotion of hockey in the district. S. Manjeet Singh, Retd Librarian, organized a number of tournaments for the promotion of hockey, but his contribution was not recognized. However, due to the performance-oriented hundred years of glorified history of Poonch hockey, the government in June 2020, with the huge efforts of the former Director YSS Salim-Ur-Rehman and Deputy Commissioner, Poonch, Rahul Yadav (IAS), dedicated a state-of-the-art synthetic Astroturf to the premises of Shaheed Dy.SP. Manjeet Singh Memorial Model Boys Higher Secondary School Poonch, and its foundation stone was laid by former LG G.C. Murmu in July 2020. When the work on the project started, a young NIS coach, Matinder Pal Singh, played a big ethical role in the successful implementation of the project by crossing many legal and other hurdles for the department and hockey lovers, as many forces were working against the project, but he has not been recognized yet by the department for his silent dedication.  After the completion of the Astroturf project to some extent, it was inaugurated by LG Manoj Sinha in September 2022, thereby bringing joy to the faces of the hockey fraternity, although some work is still pending. Hockey players in Poonch were always in need of a big tournament to strengthen their skills and competitive nature, but over the years, none of the hockey coaches or hockey associations organized a big tournament at the state level in Poonch to boost the morale of youngsters. The recently concluded tournament under the name Border Battle Hockey Championship, organized under Operation Sadbhavana by the army, was a historic event, and this championship is considered to be the biggest ever hockey event organized at Poonch. The credit for this big hockey championship at Poonch goes to the Army, said locals. However, despite a great initiative, this tournament had some technical flaws and unseemly preparation. Hockey J&K and all local clubs were not taken on board before organizing the event, and the organizers, under improper guidance, introduced their own rules, which are not seen in any of the championships organized by Hockey J&K or Hockey India. During the recently held All India Hockey Championship at Jammu, J&K Police took Hockey J&K and Hockey India on board before organizing the event, and ultimately, the championships proved to be a big success. So not taking Hockey J&K on board by the organizers of the Border Battle Hockey Cup was a surprising thing. In addition to this, local teams of J&K, which are affiliated with Hockey J&K, were not invited, although, in the final invitation card, it was written that this championship was aimed to promote and motivate young and budding talent amongst youth of J&K UT, but the local teams of J&K UT were mostly missing, and the said purpose for which the championship was organized, not met. Due to unseemly preparation, the tournament has not tasted huge success in attracting the local population and players. “Had the J&K Hockey Association and all stakeholders been consulted timely for a proper briefing and support, the championship would have been a great success with the participation of local J&K teams,” said a senior citizen. Local hockey players failed to get an opportunity, as players from other states were seen playing for some local teams. Moreover, reportedly improper briefings on the part of DYSSO officials to the organizers also led to the championship failing to leave a desired impact on the youngsters because the organizers wanted to give a new life to the championship by introducing more teams, but under the reportedly impish sway of some technical officials, the organizers better plan was not implemented on the ground. However, the efforts and intentions of the organizers were appreciated by the locals. The sports fraternity demanded that such big events be held regularly, but with proper briefing and planning by taking all real stakeholders on board, so that the players get an opportunity to hone their skills, and the purpose of such events should be met by all means.



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