~The focus of the meeting was on enhancing grassroots development and charting out a comprehensive strategy for the advancement of hockey in India~

New Delhi, 28th March 2024: Hockey India High Performance Director Herman Kruis on Thursday hosted a Coaching Workshop on Modern Techniques of Coaching & Grassroots Development with leading hockey academy coaches at the Hockey India office here. The focus of the meeting was on enhancing grassroots development and charting out a comprehensive strategy for the advancement of hockey in India.

The Coaching Workshop, led by Herman Kruis, the High Performance Director of Hockey India, witnessed the active participation of prominent figures in the hockey community. Hockey India President Dr Dilip Kumar Tirkey also addressed the attendees virtually, emphasizing the significance of grassroots development in shaping the future of Indian hockey. Hockey India Secretary General Shri Bhola Nath Singh and Treasurer Shri Sekar J Manoharan were also in attendance, underlining the organization’s commitment to fostering talent at the grassroots level.


Coaches from boys’ academies who were present in the meeting were – Gurdeep Singh (Punjab State Institute of Sports, Mohali), Neha Rawat (MP Academy, Gwalior), Harjinder Singh (Namdhari Hockey Academy), Muthukumar (Sport Development Authority of Tamil Nadu, Egmore), Harmeet Singh (GHG Khalsa College, Ludhiana), Gavin Ferreira and Sujit Lakra (Sports Hostel Rourkela), Bittu Shigroha and Ravinder Singh (Roundglass Punjab Hockey Academy), Bharat Chhikara (Ghumanhera Riser’s Academy, Ghumanhera), and Raju Kant Saini (SAIL Hockey Academy, Rourkela).

Coaches from girls’ academies who were present in the meeting were – Jyoti Thakran and Neetu Kumari (Pritam Siwach Hockey Academy, Sonepat), Pitti Lakshmi Naryana (Odisha – Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre), Satara Sagar Karande (Krida Prabodhini Academy, Pune), Sunil Malik and Mr. Kuldeep S (Har Hockey Academy), Khader Basha and G L. Anil Kumar (YSR Sports School, Kadappa, Andhra Pradesh), Pramila Jacob (Sports Authority of Gujarat Academy, Baroda), Rashmi Ekka (Sports Academy Raipur Chhattisgarh), Tarini Kumari (Hockey Training Centre, Simdega, Jharkhand), and Jyoti (Khalsa Hockey Academy, Amritsar).

The gathering served as a platform for fruitful discussions on various aspects of grassroots development, including talent identification, coaching methodologies, infrastructure enhancement, and talent pathway programs. Attendees shared valuable insights and experiences, contributing to the formulation of a comprehensive approach aimed at nurturing and honing young hockey talent across the country.


Commenting on the significance of the meeting, Herman Kruis said, “Grassroots development lies at the heart of our efforts to propel Indian hockey to greater heights. The collaboration with top hockey academies reflects our commitment to identifying and nurturing talent from a young age. By leveraging the expertise of stakeholders in the hockey ecosystem, we aim to create a robust pathway for aspiring players to realize their full potential.”


Meanwhile, former Indian player Gavin Ferreira, who is the Coach of Sports Hostel Rourkela, expressed his views on the grassroots development programme and said, “I commend Hockey India for spearheading this commendable initiative, recognizing that the cultivation of talent begins at the grassroots level. With a focus on nurturing young athletes, this program led by Herman Kruis presents an invaluable opportunity for coaches to glean insights and knowledge crucial for their development.”


“Looking ahead, the impact of this initiative will reverberate in the long term, as coaches impart the same wisdom acquired here to the budding talents in their academies. Indeed, the future stars of hockey are incubating at the grassroots, laying the foundation for the sport’s sustained success. While current coaches may have their sights set on the immediate future, it’s imperative to look further ahead, to identify and groom the next generation of players who will carry the torch in the years to come. This underscores the critical importance of a robust and effective grassroots coaching system in shaping the trajectory of Indian hockey,” he added.


Former Indian Hockey player and Coach of Ghumanhera Riser’s Academy, Bharat Chhikara, said, “I extend my sincere gratitude to Hockey India for spearheading this vital initiative. By prioritizing grassroots development, Hockey India is laying the groundwork for the next generation of hockey stars. The modern education provided on grassroots development will equip coaches with the tools and techniques needed to unlock the potential of budding athletes. Moreover, this programme is also an unparalleled opportunity for both coaches and players to demonstrate their skills and passion for the sport, paving the way for a brighter and more competitive landscape in Indian hockey.”


Also, Tarini Kumari, who is the Coach of the Hockey Training Centre, Simdega, Jharkhand, stated, “I wholeheartedly endorse Hockey India’s initiative to prioritize grassroots development. It’s at the grassroots level where the seeds of talent are sown and nurtured. This collaborative effort led by Herman Kruis holds immense promise in enriching our coaching cadre with invaluable insights and techniques crucial for honing young athletes’ skills. Looking ahead, the impact of this initiative will be profound as we integrate these learnings into our coaching methodologies, ensuring a steady pipeline of talent for the future. We firmly believe that the journey to excellence begins at the grassroots, and initiatives like these are pivotal in realizing the full potential of aspiring hockey players.”


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