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Changing mindsets: Hockey in Anantapur and its goal


Changing mindsets: Hockey in Anantapur and its goal

After being associated with the Rural Development Trust (RDT) for 10 years, Andreu Enrich believes the common Indian attitude towards sport is an issue of concern. He lays emphasis on the importance of focusing the development of hockey, and sport in general, with a wide variety of stakeholders, who share a similar level of passion and dedication.

After sowing the seeds of the hockey programme at the Rural Development Trust’s (RDT) Anantapur Sports Village in 2005 as a young international hockey player, Andreu Enrich arrived in Anantapur for his 10th annual camp this year. After his organisation's Stick for India (SFI) coaches joined him on 3 August 2015, he began grassroots development visits to schools. Previously, he had been training the Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) hockey teams for four days.

Andreu and SFI always look forward to these grassroots development visits, as they reach out to schools developing hockey. The coaches have visited most of these schools a couple of times previously, where they noticed a disheartening attitude of the PE teachers and sports coaches. They often seemed very lax toward sport, failing to plan programmes as well as neglecting the different needs of the children from various age groups.

To address this, Andreu conducted a PE teacher clinic, where he tried to understand the challenges faced by the PE teachers and sports coaches. He provided the teachers with guidelines for the sustainable participation of school children in sporting activity, emphasising that this will develop their fundamental movement skills, while giving students a reason to be disciplined and dedicated, besides living a healthy lifestyle. He argued that ot would present them with life opportunities, be it a sense of purpose or a means to get better jobs, like many of the ASA alumni.

The SFI coaches constantly focused on the “off the field” benefits of hockey instead of discussing the need to play better hockey. They pointed out that sport, be it hockey or any other, is only a means to a better future and respectable living. PE teachers were encouraged to spread the message of hockey as a team sport, developing social skills, values, ethics, moral behaviour and a good attitude - all important lessons that cannot always be learnt in the classroom.

The training further emphasised the importance of coaches being flexible, paying attention to the different ages and needs of the children, as most teachers in the past addressed their students as one and the same whether they were aged 5 or 15. The training also highlighted that the teachers needed to understand their students’ mindset, and at times go the extra mile past their comfort zone, to support and develop the child as they learn and play. This ensures that they are encouraging students to voice their opinions and behave as sensitive and mature individuals, while simultaneously playing better sport as a result of a new found confidence.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


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Maxon Sequeira


Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 23:00