Tribune News Service
Patiala, August 29
With torn shoes, poor playing field and low-quality hockey sticks, but with passion, young schoolchildren played an enthralling hockey match on the National Sports Day at the Multipurpose Government School, here on Wednesday.
National Sports Day is celebrated on August 29 each year to mark the birth anniversary of Dhyan Chand, the legendary hockey player, who won gold medals for India in the 1928, 1934 and 1936 Olympics.
In fact, to revive the most popular sport of Punjab – field hockey – the Education Department organised a hockey show match in the city on Wednesday. The show match was held between Olympian Balbir Singh Senior and Olympian Pragat Singh teams.
The names of the teams were kept on the former hockey players in recognition of their contribution to the game. Balbir Singh Senior team won the match by defeating their opponents 1-0 in the high spirited and exciting encounter.
Despite poor playing conditions, schoolchildren sweated it out on the field to win the match with the hope to play for the Indian team one day.
According to officials of the Education Department these children could perform better if they were provided good environment to play.
Major Dhyan Chand was the greatest hockey player ever to have played for India. A natural leader and a gifted athlete, he captained India to the pinnacle of the sport leading the country to an astounding three gold medal feats at 1936, 1944 and the 1948 Olympics before hanging his boots. Today, the country is celebrating the 113th birth anniversary of the legend.
District Education Officer (Sports) Jagtar Singh Tiwana said, “It is a good initiative of the Education Department to revive hockey in the state by involving schoolchildren. With this event everyone will get to know about hockey and wizard Dhyan Chand.” Hockey is the only team sport wherein Indian team has won a total of eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals in Olympics.
Every year, the birth anniversary of hockey legend Dhyan Chand, which falls on August 29, is celebrated as National Sports Day.
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