On a mission to scout for and nurture local hockey talent

On a mission to scout for and nurture local hockey talent

A government higher primary school, on the outskirts of the city, has launched a plan to form a hockey team and also to make the national game a part of its regular co-curricular activities for all students, courtesy an ex-serviceman, who has volunteered to be a coach, and the Innerwheel Club of Mysore Central, which has donated the hockey sticks and balls under its Happy School project.

Lenci Lobo, a native of Arehalli, in Belur taluk of Hassan district, who has served in the Madras Regiment of the Indian Army for 17 years has made Mysuru his home since 19 years. He said, “I am living in Hootagally since four years and wanted to do something for the children of the government school here. I thought, I can impart my knowledge in hockey, which I learnt in the Army. Both my children — Samantha Lobo and Astin Lobo studying 11th and ninth standard respectively in Demonstration School of the Regional Institute of Education — also play hockey. So, they will also pitch in to train the students,” he said.

H G Radhamma, headmistress of the school, said, she was happy that Lobo volunteered to coach the students. “There are around nine private schools in the immediate vicinity of our school. So, most of the students here are from the most backward families. Even though we have a physical education teacher, H S Yamuna, she cannot specifically coach in one particular sport as she has a set of syllabus to cover,” she said.

Assistant teacher J B Sathish said, if at all his school gets a hockey team, it would be moment of pride as even private schools in the vicinity do not have one such team, at least, at present.

K Saritha Mahesh, district Congress secretary, said, hockey is a national game and if children of a government school get to play it, there is nothing like that. “At a time when government schools are often projected in the negative light, this is a welcome move,” said Saritha.

Chandrika Sudhir, president of Innerwheel Club of Mysore Central, said, the sports items have been donated to the school under the club’s TEACH project. “T stands for ‘training of government school teachers’. Six workshops have been held in this connection on various aspects in the interest of the students. E denotes ‘e-learning’ and smartclass kits have been donated to nine schools and the highlight is a kit for the Government School for the Deaf and Dumb. A represents ‘adult literacy’ and programmes have been held in association with the State Lokashikshana department. C stands for ‘child development’ and it included enrolment under Ashakirana scheme, establishment of two tent schools for children of migrant labourers and rehabilitation of 15 dropout students. Happy School, or H, was meant to give a wholesome learning experience to students, by providing infrastructure and necessary materials to needy government schools,” she said.

“Twenty schools have been covered under Happy School scheme. Besides hockey sticks and balls, the Hootagally school was provided ‘Nali Kali’ benches for primary classes, furniture for the staff room, toys, books, soap oil for washing of hands, etc,” Chandrika said.

Coach Lobo said, he would start with physical warming up and familiarising the students with the stick and balls and the ground rules of the game. “A school team would be ready in two years time,” he said.