Oltmans slams NIS pitch in letter to SAI

Oltmans slams NIS pitch in letter to SAI

Barely a month left for the Asian Games, Hockey India High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans has written to the Sports Authority of India about the artificial turfs at NIS Patiala being in a “dangerous” condition and will effect the preparation of the women’s team for the mega event in South Korea.

In a letter dated August 16, 2014, Oltmans said that the senior women’s team coach Neil Hawgood had made a request to shift the training from NIS to another location in view of the poor condition of the pitch.

“Last week I received the request from Mr Neil Hawgood, Head Coach of the Senior Women’s team, to move to another training location. The pitch in Patiala is dangerous, not well maintained which will effect the preparation of the women’s team for the Asian Games,” Oltmans wrote in the letter.

He further wrote in the letter that besides NIS Patiala, the other turfs in Bhopal and Bangalore SAI centres were also in a poor condition and not suitable for training of national teams. Oltmans said only the turf in New Delhi was good enough for training, though the capital city has other issues.

“We left the training centre in Bangalore more than one year ago and still no action for replacement of the turfs has taken place. In November 2013, Mr Rocky Diaz at that time Regional Director in Bhopal has submitted a request to replace an artificial turf at the SAI centre in Bhopal.

“We all would like to see more improvement in the performance of the national teams. To achieve this, basic facilities should be at the same level as the facilities of our competitors or even better.”

HI secretary-general Narinder Batra said that the turfs at Patiala and Bangalore were required to be replaced in 2012 while the one in Bhopal should have been done in 2013.

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