Sports Minister Anurag Thakur launched the ‘Delhi Hockey Weekend League 2021-22′, which starts at the iconic Major Dhyanchand National Stadium on Sunday. The Hockey league, which is being organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in association with the Delhi Hockey Federation, will have a total of 36 teams competing for the trophy and more teams can also participate in later stages. The event starts on Sunday and over every weekend, four matches will be played. First match of the league was played between Delhi University’s Shyam Lal College and the Faith Club (an independent hockey club).
Thakur said that the men’s and women’s teams’ success in Tokyo Olympics has given a new lease of life to hockey as a sport in India. Speaking at the event he said, “There is no dearth of talent in India and I congratulate Delhi Hockey for this initiative, which will help induct more talent at the grassroots. We aim to nurture grassroots talent towards the global excellence. Training and competitions are equally important as they boost the morale of athletes.
“We want more states to organise such events so that hockey can be promoted and young talent gets opportunities to sharpen their skills”, he added.
The launch ceremony was also attended by former Indian hockey player Padma Shri Zafar Iqbal, Hockey World Cup (1975) gold medallist Brigadier HJS Chimni and former Indian hockey goalkeeper and Arjuna Awardee Helen Mary Innocent as special Guest of Honour.