Indian Hockey - The glorious past & the promising future
India has always taken immense pride in its diversity. Diversity in terms of food, language or even culture. Having said that, the one aspect in which it lacked to support and appreciate diversity was sports. With cricket taking the central lead, India always took pride in being called a ‘cricketing nation’. However, there have been many sports that have contributed towards establishing India as a force to reckon with at the International level and one of the most important of them being ‘Hockey’. Hockey is an essential part of India’s legacy. The game though not officially , but popularly considered as the national sport of India has given India 8 gold medals in the Olympics more than any other sport. Hockey has a special place in every Indian’s mind as it signifies the glorious days for India in the Olympics. From Major Dhyanchand’s legendary performance in the 1936 Olympics to the team getting a medal after 41 years, the sport has a long history.
But, where does it stand now and what’s in store for Hockey in India?
Today Hockey India is the official organisation that conducts all the activities for both men’s and women’s hockey in India. The organisation holds 36 national level tournaments across India in a single year. Apart from that there are several different state level and district level hockey associations that conduct hockey tournaments and scout talent at the domestic level. Thus, the hockey community in India is growing and the best part is it's growing at the grassroots level and is not restricted to urban areas.
Mr. Joaquim Carvalho, a former Indian Hockey team captain and an Olympian in conversation with SportVot stated that the popularity of hockey in India is regaining its momentum since the past few years. More and more children are taking up hockey and this is leading to an immense pool of talent emerging from the grassroots level. But the opportunities for these athletes to show their talent at the domestic level are still very limited. He stated that the domestic hockey circuit needs to be more organised as the talent coming in at this level needs careful nurturing. Now the digitisation of the game has certainly brought a more organised and professional approach to the game at the local level. With live streaming of hockey tournaments, the athletes as well as the tournament organisers are getting more exposure and that is helping the sport a lot. The digitisation of the game has also led to a more transparent and easy scouting and selection process. The video and statistical data is helping the selectors understand the player’s game in a more efficient manner. And the fact that this is taking place at the local level is even more empowering as it really sets the tone as to what we want to achieve at the International level.
The digitisation of Hockey is leading India to get back its glory at the International level and SportVot is proud to be a part of it. SportVot in the past two years has digitised more than 30 local level hockey tournaments across India, featuring more than 15,000 emerging athletes. SportVot has taken it upon itself to bring more and more grassroots tournaments and grassroots level players into the limelight by streaming LIVE matches accessible to everyone around the world as we prepare to become the global power in Hockey at the International level.