Annual tourney in memory of Balbir Sr on the cards

Hockey Chandigarh suggests May 25 as date for exhibition matches

Annual tourney in memory of Balbir Sr on the cards

Deepankar Sharda

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26

In a bid to honour late legendary hockey icon Balbir Singh Sr, the UT Sports Department plans to organise a tournament in his memory, once the Covid-19 restrictions are over in the city.

If confirmed, the tournament will be added in the annual sports calendar of the department. “Yes, we can organise a tournament in his memory. He was a legend and there is no doubt that he deserved the best from us. A tournament on his name can be organised with the help of the local association in Chandigarh. This can be an annual feature in our calendar as like other tourneys,” said Tejdeep Singh Saini, Director, Sports. “We need to plan on this once things come back to track. The Covid-19 pandemic has halted all proceedings. We can also plan for organising some exhibition match,” added Saini.

The department is one of the most popular centres of the country for the upbringing of young players. The department has two state-run hockey academies (boys and girls) and also offers scholarships under the Khelo India Talent Programme.

Meanwhile, Hockey Chandigarh officials said they will like to organise an exhibition match on May 25 annually to remember the legend. “Just like we celebrate Olympic Day, we can organise exhibition match every year on May 25 to mark his death anniversary. He did everything for the sport and its our duty to honour such a legend in the noblest way he ever wished,” said Anil Vohra, General Secretary, Hockey Chandigarh. The legendary three-time Olympic gold medallist, Balbir Sr (96), died yesterday after been on ventilator support since May 12.

He was cremated with full state honours at the Sector 25 crematorium.


Can be part of sports dept’s calendar

Tejdeep Singh Saini, Director, Sports, said, “We can organise a tournament in memory of Balbir Singh Sr. A tournament on his name can be organised with the help of the local association in Chandigarh. This can be an annual feature in our calendar as like other tourneys. We need to plan on this once things come back to track. We can also plan for organising some exhibition matches. He was a legend and there is no doubt that he deserved the best from us.”

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