C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


66 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
A blood donation camp was organised by the Rotary Club Chandigarh Shivalik in association with Sri Guru Granth Sahib Seva Society at Gurdwara Sahib, Sector 34, yesterday.

As many as 66 persons donated blood in the camp. A lucky draw was also held on the occasion and a colour TV was awarded to the winner of the draw. 



Zakir favours foreign coaches
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 6
Karachi-based Adnan Zakir, a striker of Pakistan hockey team considered himself fortunate to be the part of the ongoing second edition of month-long Premier Hockey League being played at hockey stadium, Sector 42, here.

Zakir, who is playing for Maratha Warriors, termed the venue of conducting the competition at City Beautiful a right choice as the city had not only infrastructure conforming to international standards but also had hockey loving people. Moreover, the city is the nearest place to both east and west Punjab, he added. “The players of every sport get encouragement playing in front of spectators who love the game. Moreover, playing in the city also provides an opportunity to us to see the sports culture of one of the best cities of the world”, said the dynamic player. Terming the league a right step, he said, “Playing in such tournaments is a marvelous experience as the players get the chance to know players of other nations and gain valuable experience. We also conduct the same league competitions in Pakistan”, he said.

Comparing the popularity of the game with cricket in Pakistan, Zakir said, “No doubt hockey is a popular game in our country but when cricket comes it seems nowhere. Like India, cricketers enjoy the top status in Pakistan”.

Commenting on the much-hyped rivalry during the matches between traditional opponents, India and Pakistan, Zakir was of the view that it existed only during the matches otherwise the players of both countries shared good friendship. “I have many good friends here. Every time we visit to each other countries, we exchanged many gifts. Besides this, I came with an aim to learn skills from Dhanraj Pillay and Gagan Ajit Singh”, said Zakir. He termed Pillay, Gagan and Dilip Tirkey the most popular players in Pakistan. He also welcomed the initiatives of multinational companies which are coming forward to improve and make popular the game. He also favoured foreign coaches hired by Pakistan and India and termed that they could be helpful in imparting advance training and skills. “Adopting the Europian style hockey is the need of the hour for us (Indians and Pakistanis) if we want to regain the lost glory in the game”, said Zakir.



Another Sania in the making
Arvind Katyal

Chandigarh, January 6
Sanaa Bhambri, Delhi’s sensational teenager who astonished all by winning the girls’ title in the ITF Junior Meet, is another Sania Mirza in the making.

She says 2006 is a vital year for her. She has to play in the grand slams with nearest one being the Australian Junior Open, beginning January 16 in Australia. Sanaa who had been the partner of Sania Mirza two years back, is now determined to make it to the first 50 by the end of this year in her age group.

“This is going to be my last year in the junior section and the more I play, the it is better,” says 1988-born Sanaa who will be playing another ITF meet beginning on January 9 in Delhi.

“Today I am ranked 196th because I played in lesser number of tournaments in 2005. But this year I plan to play the maximum number of ITF and grand slams, so as to ensure good rank by the end of the year,” she says.

Her mother, who generally accompanies Sanaa for various tournaments, says the Australian Open, the Wimbledon Junior and other ITF tournaments were the ones where Sanaa has focussed and needs to prove her worth. “Being a left-hander, Sanaa is a force to reckon with,” she adds.

Sanaa’s elder sister, Ankita Bhambri, is a top rank women tennis player and her younger brother, Yuki, is also shaping up well.

Sanaa’s father was also in Chandigarh to manage her tennis affairs. When asked if the Globosport, managed by tennis star Mahesh Bhupathi, has roped in Yuki Bhambri, he said, “Yes they wanted Yuki to be based in Bangalore and to do all his studies and sports there itself. But we do not want Yuki to leave Delhi.”

Meanwhile, the ITF Junior Grade 3 Tennis Tournament, which concluded today, saw many other parents also accompanying their children for the tournament exposure.

The other day, the mother of Gayatri Krishnan (daughter of ace legendary Ramesh Krishnan) told this reporter that sometimes Ramesh also accompanied their daughters. Their another daughter, Nandini, is also a ranked tennis player.



Jhuggis demolished

Panchkula, January 6
Haryana Urban Development Authority enforcement staff demolished over a dozen jhuggis near the IAS society in Sector 5 of the Mansa Devi Complex here. The staff also dismantled an improvised taxi stand, a tea shop and small unauthorized establishments. OC


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