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15th SAIL-Nehru Champion Colleges' hockey tournament gets underway

New Delhi, Mon, 11 Feb 2008 Mukesh Thapliyal

The annual prestigious Nehru hockey carnival will come to close with their last endeavour of the year the 15th SAIL-Nehru Champion Colleges’ hockey tournament that got underway at the capital’s Shivaji Stadium from February 08.

A total of 12 champion colleges’ teams, including last year semifinalists, will be in the fray to vie for top honours. Defending champion DAV College, Jalandhar starts as favourites as they are eyeing their ninth title. The Jalandhar boys had won the championship eight times before including a hat-trick of titles in space of 2003 to 2005.

The final of the week-long tournament is scheduled on February 15. The tournament carries a total prize purse of Rs. 2,28,000 with the winners pocketing a sum of Rs. 96,000 alongwith glittering SAIL Trophy.

The runners-up got an exchequer of Rs, 64,000 while the third position holder will get a sum of Rs. 32, 000. There is also a special Pepsi Penalty corner award for the best penalty corner of the tournament that worth Rs. 20,000.

According to Society’s Hony. Secretary Shiv Kumar Verma, “There is also a scholarship of Rs 850 per month, for one-year period, for the upcoming talented players under the Sports Authority of India (SAI) National Talent Search Scheme.”

“A committee headed by famed Olympian Harbinder Singh will spot the talent and select the players to bestow them with due reward, “ Verma informed mediapersons while addressing a press meet.

The Union Department of Youth Affairs and Sports have also included this annual prestigious competition as a ‘National Championship’ for the purpose of granting scholarships.

The tournament is jointly organised by Jawaharlal Nehru Hockey Society and Association of Indian Universities (AIU) to provide a fitting platform for the young hockey aspirants of the country to make it to the bigger stage.

This is the country’s only hockey society, which has been consistently running different age-group tournaments. This particular tournament is aimed to promote the National Game of India among the youth of the university sector across the country.

The society’s efforts have also been acknowledged by New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) authorities, as they agreed to provide them the turf by postponing their renovation activities for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Read More: Jalandhar

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