Hockey in Madhya Pradesh, once a powerhouse, is poised for a revival. Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy has won the National Sub-Junior Academy Hockey Championships. They recalled a fortnight later – winning the Academy’s junior national championships.
The victories have succeeded in restoring the shine to the hockey of Madhya Pradesh. Once known to have produced many Olympians from various clubs, hockey in the state capital has experienced a decline over the past four decades.
Blame it on the administration or Bhopal’s inability to keep up with new hockey trends as the state and its capital were left behind at the end of the day. As hockey domestically saw greener pastures in astro-turfs, leagues, and new powerhouses, Madhya Pradesh lost its hockey luster.
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The Madhya Pradesh government has taken small steps to try to revive hockey in the state. A hockey academy has been opened for men and women as well as the establishment of astro-turfs and a good basic program. They have also set up an infrastructure and coaching support.
However, there appears to be a visible light in the tunnel for Madhya Pradesh Hockey and for sports in Bhopal.
Madhya Pradesh Sports Minister Yashodara Scindia shows keen interest in reviving hockey in the state capital and Madhya Pradesh Hockey administration sources believe the time is right for the sport of State to regain its former glory. A source from the hockey administration said:
“We have successfully concluded the national sub-junior and junior hockey championships in these difficult times. Every aspect of the organization has been taken care of and we believe we are now in a good position to host bigger tournaments. This is also due to the support of Hockey India officials and the state government.
Hockey infrastructure, prepared stadium
Madhya Pradesh’s back-to-back titles last month and the refurbishment of the Aishbagh stadium are very helpful for administrators to host future tournaments.
“We would love to host the senior national championships. We now have a good infrastructure and more importantly a good organizing committee with a proven track record in organizing tournaments. flagship tournaments are being held here in Bhopal The same was also conveyed to the officials of Hockey India when they came to Bhopal for the tournaments.
With the senior national championships set to take place in March and April next year, the host association also has time to organize a successful tournament. This could pave the way for the rebirth of hockey in the state capital.
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