Hockey no longer prevalent in Pakistan, says Shahbaz senior

Federal Secretary says youth prefer cricket


Yousuf Anjum January 22, 2019
PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: The Federal secretary Shahbaz senior says the future of the Pakistan hockey is uncertain. He stressed on revamping players' selection procedure and the present coaching structure.

Hockey las lost popularity among our youth in the last 15 years.

“The youth prioritize cricket over hockey,” he said.

Any game is unable to maintain its highest place after the loss of the passion from fans. One of the reasons for the inclination of the youth towards cricket is the financial stability that it offers.

A good cricketer even upon failing to secure a place in the team gets placement in some department. He has lots of avenues and can play in the local and international leagues.

The government does not allocate sufficient funds for hockey. The Hockey Federation has no system or property, where they could pay attention to educational, appetite, gym, swimming pool and coaching and other necessities.

There should be a system where junior to senior level qualified coaches and trainers are available and all the camps should be planned for the entire year. Considering the present condition, no high hopes should be pinned on the young team.

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The captain of the 1994 gold medal winning team said that our habit of bringing a bad name to others leaves none respected. They should be thankful since hockey earned them this position. It is their identity for which they are respected.

It is their national duty to give their opinions which could bring good name and add to the prominence of the national game.

Speaking about the system of the European teams, Shahbaz senior seconded that there lies immense difference between Pakistan and European hockey.  Unlike the English, hockey is played differently in every other area.  The English players play same hockey everywhere, and we should follow them.

The former PHF secretary complained that the attitude of Pakistan Sports Board and Inter-Provincial Coordination Ministry has been disappointing due to which the Hockey Federation has to face criticism, which in turn is bringing a bad name to the country and the game.

I tried my best to seek help from the government but I resigned due to their apathy. Annually, Pakistan Hockey is in need of Rs200 million.

There is need for focusing on long-term planning. We have Japan, Belgium, India and Malaysia as examples before us; how they worked on development. We can revive hockey in two years upon provision of even half the budget of the aforementioned countries.

Technocrats who do not work for the government should be appointed to revamp the hockey. Reforms that can greatly improve the future should be brought after consultations with the Olympians.

Our present coaching system has flaws. Attention will have to be paid to the coaches' education. All the English coaches get promoted by earning higher education in addition to coaching from the club level.

We will have to focus on the young coaches, who in addition to possessing coaching abilities enjoy a command over the English language. Furthermore, we need coaches who are patriotic and love the game.

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