Ice Hockey India : Proud to be an Indian
Sometimes it is not the knowledge about a particular game that makes you read about the game, follow it or even watch it. Rather, it is the spirit of sports, so called “sportsmanship”, that drives you to read and then write about that game, just the very same that I am doing right now! The “particular” game I am gonna write about is Ball Hockey and as aforesaid, since I don’t know anything about the game, please do not expect much from me!
When it comes to Ball Hockey and it being played in India, Smiter Singh Kaila and Sharny (Sharnjit) Singh Kaila are the two names who actually and basically made it possible for India to make ingress at the world level. These 2 Sikh brothers, from British Columbia, used to play for Canada at the international level. However, unlike many of our contemporary professionals, they felt India Calling and returned home, and brought Ball Hockey to the attention of many Indians. They took the sport to a higher level among Indians. They, to some extent, had a stint in the formation of Team India, official team of India Ball Hockey. It was these 2 brothers who are to be solely applauded for infusing the sense of dedication and gravity among the budding players, towards this sport. People started taking Ball Hockey seriously, which resulted in the formation of Team India.
The Team India was formed in 2002, the same year marking the foundation of its association also – Team India Ball Hockey Association. Team India first participated at the World Championships in 2003 as a joint squad with Pakistan, held at Sierre, Switzerland. In 2005, the Indian team competed at the world championship as a separate entity, and fostering with the experience at the 2003 championship, were placed at the 6th position (a palpable improvement, since no more bonding with the Pakistan was required). The overall standings are, unlike other games, poolwise – separate standings and separate finals of different pools. India is a Pool A member. In 2007 championships, however, India dropped to 7th position. Well, no offense for the team here, since Ups and Downs are what drive any game and the sporting spirit attached thence. In 2009 in the championship held at Pilsen, Czech Republic, to everybody’s surprise, India won a Silver Medal, losing to the hosts in the Final match of the tournament.
This is one robust example of India’s trademark qualities like perseverance, dedication and resilience. And this is what made me write about the sport, as said in the opening paragraph. Another reason, though secondary, was the verbatim excerpt, mentioned below, taken from the Team India Ball Hockey Association’s official website: www.indiaballhockey.com
|“ Like India today where tradition and progressiveness are merging into one as it strives to make itself synonymous as a economical leader and a major player in the political landscape while being respectful of its past; so too will the 2009 Indian contingent strive to ascend the World Ball Hockey landscape under the auspices of the passionate fans and gracious hosts of the Pilsen 2009 World Ball Hockey tournament.”|
Of course the later part of the above text content is antiquated, the meaning in the opening part of the text is so very patriotic and sagacious. A 3rd reason which I discovered seconds before writing the following is that the homepage of their website asks you to stop whatever you are doing, stand in attention from whatever pose you are at and salute India, by playing our national Anthem. Isn’t that great folks? And yes, another good thing to read about this Indian team is that they bring laurels to the country, at no big money. What I mean to say is that they are earning India a great name gradually in the World Ball Hockey, without too much spending! A live example to this is that their Association head, General Manager and coach are all the same person, Mr. Ranbir Singh. Sim Gosal is the assistant coach and Navin Gupta assissts Mr. Singh as the Association Co – Head.
All images taken from http://www.hometeamsonline.com