Festival to celebrate 1-year in Pune

Last year, 22 January 2023 we launched the Maharashtra Grassroots Program in Pune. Now last Sunday, 21 January 2024, we celebrated the 1-year anniversary. At the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium different games and drills were set up across the pitch. Over 300 players from 6 different schools mixed and had fun together. Energy, enthusiasm, talent and team spirit filled the stadium.

Leading up to the Hockey Festival, the schools in Pune and Pimpri met in an interschool competition. The top teams were cheered on in the finals during the Hockey Festival. This was followed by a friendly match with coaches, and members of ARaymond, NIRMAN and Bovelander Foundation. The festival concluded with an award ceremony.

A great day to mark the first year. Thanks to our program partners ARaymond India and NIRMAN, and to Hockey Maharashtra’s Manoj Bhore and to Vikram Pillay to join the festival.

We look back to an exciting first year, in 2023:

  • On three occasions, and a total of eleven training days, top trainers from the Netherlands trained a total of 30 coaches from Pune, Pimpri, Kedgaon and Phaltan towns.
  • These coaches now reach almost 400 students (10 to 14 years) from 8 schools. In groups of 30 players – 15 boys and 15 girls – students have hockey sessions at their school or community ground twice a week.

And are working hard for the activities and impact in 2024:

  • With support of ARaymond the grassroots hockey program in Pune and Pimpri will grow to reach 500 children in 2024.
  • Also educational sessions will be added to the program, for awareness on social themes such as nutrition, child rights and menstrual hygiene.
  • The Bovelander Foundation works to scale up the hockey training projects further in this and other districts of Maharashtra. The aim is that by 2025 the grassroots hockey program will reach nearly 3,000 students from 50 schools and communities.

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