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Hockey Year Book 2007 Released (8/7/2007)
--K. Arumugam
Hockey Year Book 2007, written by K. Arumugam, was released in a simple function at the Hockey Club House Hall of the Karnataka State Hockey Association, Bangalore on Friday, the 3rd August. Senior Olympian M.P. Ganesh, also former Executive Director, Sports Authority of India (SAI), released the book. Olympian midfielder B.K. Subramani received the first copy.

Kannan Krishnamurthy, Secretary, KSHA, welcomed the gathering which included many of the city's present and former hockey stars, SAI and State's Youth Services and Sports officials and SAI hockey team, besides a host of other hockey lovers and officials.

Outlining the concept of Hockey Year Book, Krishnamurthy welcomed the idea of releasing the book in the hockey conscious city. "K. Arumugam has been releasing his books in Delhi and he thought of releasing it here in Bangalore. We welcome his gesture. Arumugam has been bringing out Hockey Year Books systematically since 1995. These biannual works are pioneer in nature, offers variety of useful data for the stake holders, and are helpful in proper understanding the game in a better way. The Field Hockey Publication, which publishes these books, thus contribute substantially to the game we all love", he said. Briefing the credentials of the author, he highlighted various works of him and concluded, "in many ways Arumugam is hockey's own Ramanchandra Guha, noted cricket historian."

On his turn, Arumugam informed that his are the only Hockey Year Books in the world in the contemporary scene. He exhorted hockey lovers to keep a positive frame of mind, and contribute whatever way they can, as the sport is now going through a bad patch. Explaining various academies started by players like Ashish Ballal, Pritam Rani Siwach, Balwinder Singh and the spurt of infrastructure development in various part of the country (Gurgaon, Bhopal, Lucknow and other cities) he opined these things augur well for the game. He emphasized that hockey is not an ordinary sport, but is collective consciousness of the country, and its successful stride in the pre-independent era is something of a folk fore stuff. "The sport has given so much honour to us even when we were ruled by alien powers. So hockey is a heritage, we have a bounden duty to protect and cherish it", he said.

Arumugam informed his next book (Quiz) will be released at Chennai during the Asia Cup tournament, in order to spread out.

Releasing the book, M.P. Ganesh, who has recently formed his own hockey team, appreciated the effort of the author and invited everyone connected with hockey to contribute. He in particular invited former hockey player to come forward and to do whatever thy can to improve the lot of hockey. Lamenting lack of genuine information on hockey, he said that even players are not having their personal data like caps, which are now being seen in the Year Books. "Frankly speaking I myself don't know how many matches I played and goals scored. This is wrong. Past is past, and at least now onwards there should be a genuine effort to work on these lines. The various chapters in the book are thus useful to many, particularly to the stock of players", he said.

Accepting the first copy, Olympian B.K. Subramani said that players should play the game with concentration and never chase umpires which cause irreparable damage to the side. "A player was looking at the umpire instead of focusing on the ball, that time because of his lack of concentration the ball was stolen and a goal was scored against us in the opening match of the 1988 Olympics. We lost the match against Russia by an odd goal. Is it not pitiable? he asked.

A photo exhibition depicting releasing ceremonies of last 13 years has been organized and a copy of each book that the Field Hockey Publication brought out so far, were also displayed.

An 18-page newsletter was also distributed to the audience.

M.A. Ponnapa, noted journalist, delivered the vote of thanks.

Some of the known personalities who attended the function include Ashish Ballal, AB Subbaiah, Sandeep Michael, Arjun Halappa, trainer Sampath, umpire Raghu Prasad.

Probodh Tirkey and Bharat Chikara were supposed to receive Hockey Year Book Player of the Year Awards during the function, but they could not turn up despite coach Joaquim Carvalho's earlier commitment to this effect. Mr. P.C. Chengappa, Vice-Chancellor, Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, could not review the book as expected, due to his presentation to the visiting Prime Minister.

Almost all the leading newspapers and Doordarshan covered the event.

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