Having observed Indian hockey up close for a while now, Dutchman Roelant Oltmans has taken the first step towards bringing uniformity in the development of the sport across the country.
Hockey India (HI) has announced the formation of a 15-member High Performance and Development Committee for the year 2013-14. The committee will work on the development of hockey at the grassroots level in the country, on the lines of the system in Europe and Australia, under the guidance of Oltmans.
“At the moment, there are a good number of people — players and coaches — in the country who are involved in hockey and they are not on the same page. Our aim is to ensure that everyone in the country speaks the same language and is on the same page when we talk of hockey, right from the schools and grassroots to the senior national team,” Oltmans said.
Oltmans, who was appointed the High Performance Director by Hockey India in February, is already in the process of preparing blueprints to develop a uniform pattern of coaching at all levels. The structure will be finalised after consultation with other members of the committee.
“The committee is likely to meet for the first time in May since the national championships are currently on for various age groups. I expect to have at least six to eight meetings a year, to not only exchange new ideas but ensure the development continues on the right track,” Oltmans said.
The process will also include feedback and consultation with various coaches and players, working at the grassroots level. “The idea of involving Olympians, international players and national coaches is to get more and more ideas for proper planning in the development of the game,” Batra said.
The committee: Narinder Batra (chairman), Roelant Oltmans (vice-chairman), Elena Norman (convenor), Ajit Pal Singh, Col. Balbir Singh, Dilip Tirkey, Sukhvir Singh Grewal, Thoiba Singh, Mukesh Kumar, R.P. Singh, Surinder Kaur, Saba Anjum, Michael Nobbs, Neil Hawgood, Gregg Clark (all members) and the Sports Authority of India (special invitee).