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ASA annual hockey camp : A decade of Sticking for India

488   //    04 Aug 2015, 15:19 IST

His first visit to India was as a an 18-year-old international player who dreamt of developing hockey in India. It has been 10 years since Andreu Enrich started his first camp here in Anantapur in 2005.

Enrich has constantly stepped forward to support and promote hockey in Anantapur, with an annual hockey camp that he organizes with the help of a few Spanish compatriots and friends, and follows a similar routine annually.  The camp runs for about a fortnight, with Enrich’s team not only training the Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) hockey teams but also visiting schools to introduce and promote hockey.

The current schedule Enrich is following started on the very day of his arrival from Spain. Arriving alone on the early hours of the 29th July 2015, Enrich met up and trained the ASA hockey teams in the evening after some much needed rest.

He then began the next day as per his usual camp schedule, training the ASA hockey teams both in the morning and the evening, while visiting schools during the day.

Andreu Enrich meeting and greeting the ASA girls hockey team

Enrich was joined by a few of his Stick for India (SFI) coaches from Spain on Monday, 3rd August, 2015. During his time in Anantapur, he will look to work on both the ASA Hockey teams as well as try and develop hockey at the grassroot level by visiting as many as possible of the 32 schools that support hockey in and around the area of Anantapur along with his Stick for India coaches.

When Enrich and his team train the ASA hockey teams, they are constantly trying to give the team the best possible coaching through the experience of current and former Spanish hockey players.

They begin the training day as early as 6am. That goes on till 8:15 am, after which they break for breakfast. The Academy teams children set off for school and so do Enrich and his team. However Andreu and his team visit schools to develop hockey at the grassroot level. They also train the academy teams during their evening session from 5pm to 7pm.

Enrich is focusing keenly on the academy teams as they prepare for a few tournaments in the near future. He is therefore looking to conduct an intensive 3-day training camp towards the latter half of his camp.

Andreu training the Hockey boys during a session

The idea of the grassroot visits to schools is to try and develop an interest in the children to understand the benefit of hockey over the longer run. Since Andreu represents SFI that gathers funds and through RDT, supports schools with hockey and other training equipment.

While he and his team of coaches visit the schools, Enrich himself assesses the current hockey scenario in the school, by interacting with students, PE teachers and principals, trying to understand their issues and difficulties towards the game. He examines the current players’ status, the number of students that have an interest in the sport and their level of game play, while simultaneously taking account of the equipment provided to the school previously.

Based on this, Enrich advises school authorities via PE teachers on how to ensure optimal use of the provided equipment as well as how to continue to train the children in hockey, skill games, and holds training drills for the hockey playing students.

Enrich also felt the need to educate school PE teachers in order to better train the children in hockey and to be able to skillfully recognize, encourage and nurture talented hockey players. To ensure that this happens, he will be conducting a PE Teacher’s clinic on the 12th August, 2015, which will comprise PE teachers from the 32 schools where the grassroot hockey program is implemented.

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