Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Investing in coaching and scientific approach at grassroots level are India hockey’s challenges

Former Indian player has love for honing young talent and runs academy with no support from state government

For former Indian striker Pritam Rani Siwach, the days following the Tokyo Olympics have been rewarding and stressful, writes SAMARNATH SOORY

On one hand, she feels motherly pride for her proteges – Neha Goyal, Sharmila Devi and Nisha Warsi – who have created history with the women’s national team by reaching their maiden Olympic semi-finals. They have been on a lap of honour across India, hopping from state to state attending felicitation events, receiving cash rewards and featuring on television talk shows. 

Their success has also increased Siwach’s responsibilities as a talent groomer at her academy in Sonepat, a town in the Northern state of Haryana. 

“I had close to 150-200 girls training at my academy before the Olympics which is already a big number. But now there are so many requests from the parents it’s hard for me to take in everyone. I had to conduct two extra rounds of trials to have a manageable number,” Siwach chuckles. 

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