Hockey is one of the most popular and well-known sports of our time, alongside football, basketball, golf, tennis, cricket etc. It is a very well known sport in our country as well, though not so popular here as it is in some other countries. Especially, in the countries that have better facilities in spite of it not being the most popular sport.
The people of our country are aware of the existence of our national Hockey team and of their participation in international tournaments, though still remains in ignorance of the consequences of these participation. Nevertheless, the Bangladesh National Hockey Team does exist, and they have shown impressive performances in the international tournaments in recent years, especially during the Hockey World League that was held this year, where they pulled off impressive feats by defeating teams like China and coming very close to killing it off with teams like India and Ireland as well. Due to poor media coverage, much of the public is ignorant of this progress that the Hockey Team has made.
The ones involved with the world of Hockey have observed this sudden burst of talents within our country’s youth. International Hockey Federation (IHF), who were most impressed by the young talents that our country has produced lately, decided to promote it further by setting up an artificial blue sand turf of international standard measurements on the premises of BANGLADESH AIR FORCE SHAHEEN COLLEGE, Dhaka, on 14th December, just two days before the national victory day.
IHF president Leandres Negre, who was the chief guest at the event said, “A Dutch journalist asked me in India two days ago what was the most important event for me in the year 2014. I thought that we had a successful World Cup in Holland. The newly introduced Hockey Five received super success and we had a beautiful Congress in Marrakesh, Morocco. But, I said the installation of the turf on December 15 here, assisted by the International Hockey Federation, is the most important event for me in the year 2014. Because, I hope it will be producing future stars and is a contribution towards the development of Bangladesh Hockey.”
Negre congratulated Bangladesh for exhibiting impressive performances in the Hockey World League and in the Men’s Junior AHF (Asian Hockey Federation) Cup. “With the installation of the new turf I hope Bangladesh will move further ahead in the international level. The Bangladesh Hockey Federation has been working hard towards the development of the game. I congratulate them.”
This was on the first of the two times in the 3 years that the IHF came to Bangladesh to promote Hockey within our country. This initiative in promoting the sport in school level is a big step for our country in the sport world, and if Hockey keeps improving at the current rate, it is believed that within the next ten years, Bangladesh, which stand at no. 30 in IHF rankings could break into the top 20 or 15, if not the top 10. But for that to happen, more financial assistance is required and if the National Sports Association invests a little more in the Hockey Department, then the hope that Bangladesh would, in the coming years, become a heavyweight in the Hockey world. It would not seem like an impossible dream after all.