SGPC moves to nurture hockey talent

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar on Tuesday made it mandatory to form hockey teams in all the schools and colleges run by the Sikh body to give a fillip to the sport.

"In all educational institutes, including dental, medical, engineering and diploma colleges run by the SGPC, I have issued directions that it is mandatory to form hockey teams in every institution to promote the sport," Makkar told The Indian Express.

SGPC runs 36 colleges and 72 schools, besides a dental college, a medical college, two engineering colleges and as many diploma colleges.

"We have already earmarked funds for sports in the SGPC budget. In the next budget, the quantum of funds for sports will be increased," Makkar added.

When contacted, former hockey Olympian and Jalandhar Cantonment MLA Pargat Singh said he had been urging SGPC for long to form hockey teams in educational institutes. "It is from schools that budding players could be groomed, before they graduate to college hockey teams. I have also suggested that SGPC earmark a budget of about 5 per cent for sports," Pargat Singh said.

"The promotion of hockey by SGPC will go a long way in restoring the lost glory of hockey in Punjab. I have also proposed that SGPC should set up an Astroturf to train players. It is for everyone to see the success of hockey initiative by Namdhari sect," he added

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