Excitement for first hockey sessions

March was an exciting month; 250 children had their first-ever hockey sessions. Thanks to Pune Solapur Expressways Private Limited, we introduced hockey at four schools in Daund district, outside of Pune, Maharashtra. We also held a coaching workshop and all came together during a very fun Hockey Festival. The childrens’ eagerness to learn will allow for many life skills development.

Two hockey coaches from Pune and two from the Netherlands visited four schools in Daund district. Along the Pune Solapur Expressway, schools in Yavat, Dhaigudewadi and Patas participated. The sessions included basic hockey skills, hockey drills and social games. After the sessios the schools received a set of equipment with quality composite sticks. The enthusiasm was great and in each school two groups of around 30 students joined – boys and girls, grade 5 and up. Reaching at least 250 students! The visit of the trainers from the Netherlands in Yavat was also featured in the local newspaper.

We visited different schools about 1 – 1,5 hours outside of Pune. At these schools we were met by curious and enthusiastic students, eager to learn a new sport. The sessions were held at the school grounds – big or small, it doesn’t matter, we make sure we have a nice session together. The students had no previous hockey experience but they were quick to pick up basic hockey techniques!

Kim van Leeuwen, Bovelander trainer

Coaching workshop

On 8 and 9 March, ten senior hockey players joined in Pimpri-Chinchwad for a coaching workshop. The two trainers from the Netherlands discussed how hockey is more than just a game. The workshop focused on transferring basic hockey skills to new players, structuring a training session in a safe and motivating manner, and including life skills directly and indirectly in hockey drills and social games.

Thanks to the support of Hockey Maharashtra we held the workshop in the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium. Students from a local school (since 1-year participating in our grassroots hockey program) joined one session with the coaches, a learning opportunity for both the players and the coaches.

Hockey Festival

All came together on 10 March at the Hockey Festival in Daund district. The 120+ students, various principals and teachers, 10 Indian coaches and 2 trainers from the Netherlands all enjoyed the day.

Great to see the kids again, now from all the four schools together. Excitedly the kids entered the ground and got a sports jersey and shirt. For each school a different color. More than 120 kids made for a colorful and cheerful group. In the first round of hockey drills and social games the students started in groups per school. After a meal together, in the second round the girls from the four schools were mixed, as were the boys. To highlight the joy and talent of the students, awards were given for enthusiasm, positive attitudes, team players and rising stars. What a joyful day, with so much fun, smiles, new skills and friendships.

Kim van Leeuwen, Bovelander trainer

The teachers and coaches are very positive about the potential of hockey in this district. The players’ enthusiasm and energy is contagious. We look forward continuing the hockey sessions to strengthen the children, and are excited for more interschool competitions and festivals to engage the communities through hockey.

WhatsApp Image 2024-04-24 at 12.31.04 (9)

WhatsApp Image 2024-04-24 at 12.31.04 (9)

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