New Delhi: The men's hockey team has got sponsorship from Sahara, but women's hockey in India continues to be a poor second cousin. The team won the Commonwealth Gold in Manchester last year and recently won a tournament in Russia, but they are still treated like second-rate citizens. After its victory in the three-nation hockey tournament in Russia, the Indian women's hockey team was meant to return to a hockey camp in Delhi on July 20. But poor transport arrangements, lack of coordination and shortage of water for the players delayed the start of the camp. The team's coach and most of the players are not very happy with the organisation of the camp. Surajlata Devi, Captain, Women's Hockey Team, said, "We aren't very comfortable in Delhi. It doesn't suit us here. We face too many problems in Delhi. We can't concentrate on our game and are constantly tense because of the lack of facilities." There are both senior and junior level hockey players participating in this camp, and with a total of 50 participants, it is very difficult for the coach to pay particular attention to the weaknesses of any one individual. "It will be useful for the junior team to train with the senior squad, but the camp would have been more useful had there been fewer players," said M K Kaushik, Coach, Women's hockey team. Sumanbala, a member of the hockey team, said, "The juniors will be playing a tournament. We have to concentrate on our fitness and position play. We have to improve on the weaknesses that we identified during the matches in Russia." The camp ends on August 10, after which the junior team will leave to play a tournament in Japan. Meanwhile the senior squad will prepare for the hockey nationals on August 20 along with the Afro Asian Games, the Asia Cup and the qualifiers for next year's Olympics.
Topics : Hockey