Secretary-general of Hockey India Narinder Batra and Sudesh Mahto at a news meet in Ranchi on Saturday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, March 9: The champions of today will soon help mould the winners of tomorrow.
Ranchi Rhinos, the gallant winners of the maiden edition of the Hockey India League, today announced that they would soon start a special hockey coaching camp for youngsters in the state capital and its adjoining areas.
The aim, they said, was to give the young players an opportunity to perfect their skills under the eyes of experts.
According to plans, the Rhinos — also Jharkhand’s home team — would rope in two time Olympian and Arjuna Award winner Baljit Singh Saini to teach aspiring players the nuances of the game.
Speaking to newsmen after a small get-together in Ranchi, the CEO of the team Banti Singh said the coaching had tentatively been scheduled to take place sometime in the month of May.
“Although we are based in Calcutta, we have plans to launch seven special camps for the rural and urban youths of Ranchi which is our home ground. All the camps will be for 10 days. The city, in a sense, has contributed a lot to our victory this year. Hence, it is our responsibility to give something back to it,” Singh said.
He added that the state capital had given birth to legends, who had helped in promoting the game.
“In fact, the entire state of Jharkhand loves hockey which, somehow, had been neglected here for all these years. So in a way we want to capitalise on our victory and do whatever we can to promote the game. The idea is to churn out quality players,” Singh stated.
He also maintained that they had plans to hold an U-14 hockey tournament in the state sometime in the end of April.
“The tournament will be played out in Ranchi and its surrounding areas. The end of April will be perfect as the students will be on their vacations. The tournament will be played in the knock-out format with six-eight teams expected to participate,” Singh claimed.
The modalities of the tournament, he added, were still being worked out and they would make an official announcement soon. “We are in talks with veteran players for the event,” he signed off.