LAHORE, July 25 (APP): The National Women Hockey Championship will be played from August 5 at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium Islamabad as the event has been revived after three years.
“Girls belonging to various departments and the four provinces will be seen in action in the national premier hockey activity which has been re-launched by the present regime of the Pakistan Hockey Federation”, said Tanzeela Amir Cheema, Secretary, Women Wing, PHF while talking to APP here on Monday.
She said women folk were deprived from exhibiting their talent as no national championship was organised in recent years by the previous regime of the PHF and due to which, the standard of women hockey in the country has further gone down.
“Wapda will defend the title in the event in which Punjab and Sindh each will be fielding two teams while Balochistan, KPK, Railways, HEC and Army will enter one team apiece”, she asserted.
Tanzeela termed Wapda the ‘power house of women hockey’ and said they have the best hockey talent in their ranks and they are likely to face a tough challenge from Pakistan Army.
“Women hockey players across the country are very delighted to know about the resumption of the national championship and a keen competition is likely to be witnessed among the participating teams, as the teams are preparing hard in their respective training camps”, said the secretary women wing.
She said it was quite unfortunate that no attention was paid to hold the national championship in previous years which has left the women wing with no option but to speed up its efforts for the revival of women hockey and to prepare its team for taking part in international events abroad in coming months.
She said the national championship will serve as trials to pick player for attending a training camp to groom the team for its participation in the qualifying round of the Asian Cup in October this year in Bangkok.
“The immediate task ahead of us is to endeavor for the qualification of our team for the Asia Cup and the task is quite uphill”, she added.
Tanzeela said the women wing will get the long term measures with the short term in order to prepare a strong national women team which is capable of producing good results at international level.
She said, on the commendations of the women wing, the PHF has barred women players of over thirty years of age from taking part in all national level hockey events to give ample opportunity to the young hockey talent to play hockey.
The secretary women wing said they have chalked out an ambitious activity plan to engage the provinces and departments in high quality hockey activities to unearth new hockey talent and to raise the overall standard of the game at home.
According to the activity plan, a training camp will be organised next month to play test series abroad, independence day national match, preparations of the team for qualifying round at Lahore, holding of U-18 training camp for Jr Asia Cup in November, Iqbal Day national hockey match, participation of team in U-18 Asia Cup in Colombo in December, inter-provincial women hockey gold cup an Quaid e Azam day match at Lahore in December.
“In earlier part of the year, we organised a few hockey tournaments at Lahore and Islamabad to re-launch our efforts for women hockey with a renewed zeal”, said Tanzeela.