The India men’s national field hockey team was the first non-European team to be a part of the International Hockey Federation. In 1928, the team won its first Olympic gold medal and until 1960, the Indian men’s team remained unbeaten in the Olympics, winning six gold medals in a row. The team had a 30–0 winning streak during this time, from their first game until losing in the 1960 gold medal final. India also won the 1975 World Cup. India’s hockey team is the most successful team ever in the Olympics, having won eight gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
The Indian Men Hockey team accomplished a historic feat against Pakistan in the finals of the 1975 Hockey World Cup where they beat the opponents 2-1 to earn the title of ‘Champions’.
It was a moment of pride. Led by Captain Ajit Pal Singh, the team left no stone unturned to ensure that they got the Cup home.
Recently, many Indian hockey players have been nominated for National awards. Like many other sports, hockey is also trying to find its feet back following a two-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. Indian hockey stars have been following strict protocols following their return to practice at Sports Authority of India in Bengaluru earlier this month. The lockdown period was challenging for the players as they were stuck indoors at the Sports Authority of India facility since March. But according to the coach, they tried to create an environment where the athletes remained in a good frame of mind despite the ongoing crisis.
As of 2020, the team is ranked fourth in the world. From February 2018, the Government of Odisha has started sponsoring the Indian national field hockey team, both men and women teams. In a first-of-its-kind association, the state has decided to support India’s field hockey team for next five years.
More support and awareness can bring back the ‘Golden period of Indian hockey’.
Alfa Ghoghari, Teaching Associate, Textile & Knit Design, School of Fashion Design, Unitedworld Institute of Design (UID)
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