Hockey Kerala on Tuesday sought help from the Government in laying synthetic turfs in at least three centres across the State so as to help players acquire the skills to play in these surfaces and to attain their full potential.
Addressing a press conference here, the newly-elected president of Hockey India, Mariamma Koshy and Hockey Kerala officials, V. Sunil Kumar and Ramesh Kolappa said the key issue behind the poor performances of teams from the State at the National-level was mainly due to the absence of proper training facilities including the lack of synthetic turfs.
Taking this into consideration, Hockey Kerala has already moved the Government for land in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Thrissur for the construction of suitable stadia with synthetic surfaces. “Hockey India has promised to take up the matter of financial support with the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, but it can move ahead only if suitable plots of land are made available by the State Government.”
It was also sad that the completion of the new stadium with synthetic turf at Kollam in connection with the National Games was getting delayed. “The problem of having a synthetic turf in Kollam is that we would not be able to host any major event as the city does not possess other facilities like an airport.”
Asked to clarify on the existence of two associations in the State — the Kerala Hockey Association being the other — they said that Hockey Kerala was keen to reach an amicable settlement, even if it had the genuine right to be the official body by virtue of the recognition provided to Hockey India by both the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the Indian Olympic Association.
Already the Kerala State Sports Council had taken steps to provide recognition to Hockey Kerala but the Kerala Hockey Association was able to obtain a stay from the Kerala High Court. “Still, we are hopeful that a settlement could be reached through open discussions and we are ready for that,” they said.
Hockey Kerala will be hosting the second South Zone national sub-junior hockey tournament for boys and girls from October 17 to 21 at the Central stadium and the Chandrasekharan Nair stadium here. Teams from all the southern States would be participating in both the sections and the winner and runner-up will represent the zone in the inter-zone event to be held later this year.
Keywords: Hockey Kerala