Hockey is our national game. The game is played all over the country in all the states. India was the world champion in hockey for many years. Hockey has now become popular in many countries. Pakistan, Holland, Germany, England and Australia play the game very well. There is a keen competition at the international level.
Hockey is a fast game. Players can be seen running in the field all through when the game is in progress. Every minute there is a mo0ve, which may change the chances in the game. Hence everyone is alert all through. The goal keeper, the centre forwards, the right and left backs are all important in the game. It is a team work that leads to success. Our country has produced a number of world class players. Dhyan Chand is one such, who is called the wizard of hockey. In fact Punjab contributes more number of players to the game of hockey.
India first became the world champion, in hockey, in 1928, by winning the Gold Medal at Amsterdam Olympics. Since then, it continued to be the champion till it lost in the Rome Olympics. It came down to the seventh place in the Montreal Olympics. India regained the Gold Medal at Moscow Olympics in 1980. We lost the Gold Medal in 1984.
Hockey, kike cricket, is a popular game in our country. It is not a costly one. Hockey is played both by men and women. Inter-school competitions and state level competitions are held for schools. The following trophies are associated with the game of hockey (1) Dhyan Chand Trophy (2) Lady Ratan Trophy (for women) (3) Nehru Trophy (4) Scindia Gold Cup and (5) Ragaswamy Cup.
I had the opportunity to be a member of the winners of a State-level hockey match at Kurnool this year. This important match was between Andhra Pradesh Residential School. Tadikonda and the Coles High School, Kurnool. As you know the game of hockey is very popular in Kurnool district. Before the game commenced at 3.30 P.M. the contesting teams were introduced to the chief guest.
The Andhra Pradesh Residential School boys were on the offensive right from the beginning. They were quick in moving the ball deep into the enemy’s camp. They succeeded in getting two penalty corners. However, they could not succeed in scoring the goals as the Kurnool goal keeper succeeded in stopping both the penalty corner shots. He looked every formidable indeed; although the Kurnool team dominated during the first-half of the game, the Coles school team stole the thunder during the second half. They also succeeded in getting two penalty corners during the last ten minutes of the game. They succeeded in scoring two goals. Bhasker, the centre forward of the Kurnool team, scored these goals, and became the ‘Star of the evening”. Thus the game ended in favour of Coles school team. They won the state level hockey championship on account of their superior skill in the game.
The chief guest congratulated both the teams for their excellent performance. He gave away the trophy to the winning team. The Residential School Boys, who did their best, accepted the verdict in good spirit. There is a great truth in the saying “Failures are the stepping stones for success”.