The idea behind launching Khelo India Youth Games was to have young talented players getting an opportunity of showing their class and skills at the national level. It also allows players from all parts of the country to shine under the spotlight.
So, it’s not surprising that Hockey India, the top governing body of the national sport in the country, has also decided to cash in on the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games. The High-Performance Director of the body, David John, is in Guwahati and is keeping a close eye on the ongoing hockey action to spot future stars for the Indian team.
He is not alone either. Former India international Prabhjot Singh is also doing the same thing. With the competition taking place in both the under-17 and under-21 categories, in both men’s and women’s division, there is a lot of hockey to be watched and lot of players to be observed.
Speaking about this initiative, David John said: “I think Khelo India Youth Games is a tremendous platform for all the young players who are representing their respective states. I have been following the action closely for the past two editions, and we have been successful in finding someone like Sharmila Devi, who first caught my eye during the first edition of this competition.
“Her impressive performances meant that she was included in our Junior team's set-up, and we are glad to see her develop into a player who now consistently plays with the Indian Senior Women's Hockey Team.”
John further added that players should be motivated to perform well here with the knowledge that they can catch the eye of talent scouts like him: “Similarly, a lot of the younger players taking part here can take inspiration from that, and show us what they have got, and if we feel they have the potential to be included in our programme, then we will definitely give them an opportunity.”
Prabhjot Singh, one of the best forwards in the world during his time in international hockey, said that he has been immensely impressed by the players in this tournament.
“When you get to play at a competition like this at such a young age, you learn so many things. I have been watching these players perform, and I have been impressed with how these younger players have so much technical knowledge already. They are also getting massive exposure by playing here, and are earning valuable experience in such a competitive environment, which will help them further in their development,” the Indian hockey legend said.
Published 18 Jan 2020, 17:37 IST