Nashik Hockey Camp
by Tabe Roggeveen (1MHL coach)
On January 13th 2016, I departed for my second time to Mumbai, India. I actually arrived on the 14th, because my flight was around 9 hours and with a time difference of 4.5 hours between the Netherlands and India, you quickly add on a day when travelling to India.
Upon arrival in Mumbai, I firstly ordered a coffee and settled myself down on a bench outside. Meanwhile, I absorbed the hustle and bustle of India. Using the energy that the coffee gave me, I went looking for a taxi. Quickly I discovered a man with a taxi card hanging around his neck and asked him what a trip to the Marriot Hotel would cost. I ended up paying 300 roepie. After checking in, I sat down on the bed, took a quick shower, changed into summary clothes and enjoyed a fresh kingfisher at the poolside. Hmmm, I am here again… Amazing India. After two hours, Rob (cofounder of 1MHL) arrived at the hotel. We drank another lovely beer whilst Rob explained my all details of the plan regarding the project in Nashik. The day gradually ended when we finished a tasty Indian meal in the hotel’s restaurant. After enjoying our meals, we enjoyed the view for a little bit to then go to bed.
The next morning, we woke up with an empty stomach, so after breakfast we got ourselves ready to go out to Nashik. A driver picked us up, together with Supriya (one of the two Indian girls who played at HC Noordwijk for three months). Supriya and Sneya started the 1MHL camp in Nashik. After a drive of 2.5 hours, we arrive in Nashik and drive to the first hotel to have lunch. Afterwards we go to the opening ceremony of the 1MHL camp, including press (Maharashtra Times) and important people, such as CNP press (Sandeep Jain), GM and 130 children together with their parents, even though we expected 80 to show up. Brilliant!
We are welcomed very attentively and received scarfs, roses and charters. After multiple ‘thank you’ speeches, I was allowed to open my magic box and that’s when it all started. Instead of going back to the hotel after this 3 hour lasting ceremony, haha, Supriya invited us to have snacks at her family. Here, we discussed the plans and role division for upcoming days whilst enjoying all the tasty delicious food. Back at the hotel, we took another sip of our drinks and again took off to bed before our alarm would go off at 6am the following morning. We woke up early and after breakfast took off towards the first day of the camp. Upon arrival, we were again welcomed very lovely by the children. They first shook our hands and then touched our feet, a bit overwhelming in my opinion. Once we started, I set up all exercises and Rob started the warming up. For every child we provided a hockey stick, a ball and a t-shirt. It looked amazing. We divided 130 children into smaller groups and let them start with 5 basic exercises that were controlled by one trainer per exercise. We had two extra trainers, so Rob was able to guide the ‘mini game’ exercise and I overviewed all exercises while walking past every single one. Sometimes I gave tips to the trainers and kids when needed. After changing 5 times, we finished the first part of the training. Rob and I went back to the hotel and had an afternoon tour through ‘Sula Vineyards’.
After a lovely lunch, we went back towards the camp for the second part of the training. We started a tournament by coming up with a team name and team yell. After a few rounds, the end of the first day was there. However, before we definitely ended the first day, we initiated a creative idea with hockey sticks and balls, namely by forming a tower solely made of hockey sticks. During the second and last night, Rob and I were invited for a proper traditional Indian dinner. We ate a lovely curry, but Supriya’s and Sneha’s family only started having dinner after we left, pure out of respect. After another amazing dinner, we were welcomed to visit the birthday party of the neighbors’ daughter. At their place, we received traditional pie. Very funny when this came unexpectedly.
After another night at the hotel, we woke up early again to grab a cup of coffee whilst preparing for the second day of the camp. All children had formed a beautiful line when we arrived, in order to practice the Indian dribble. It looked so beautiful, especially with the sun rising in the background. During the second day, two girls guided the training session themselves, with a little help of a couple of trainers. I only walked around and gave some advice. After a game, we ended the second day of the camp. A lot of selfies and ‘thank you’ words by all children resulted into the end of the hockey part of the camp. However, we continued our program with a ‘basic coaching course’ for teachers. 40 teachers were present. Rob started talking about hockey in general, the 1MHL project and the importance of motivating children for sports as a teacher. It was important for them to feel confident with all the information received. After 45 minutes, we took the group outside. I started a basic hockey skills training and explained all the basic rules.
At the end of the day, Rob and I went back to the hotel. Rob said his goodbyes and continued his way to Goa via Mumbai. I took a shower and prepared myself for the closing ceremony. Two hours later I departed again towards the location and received a 2 hour speech in which everybody thanked me comprehensively. I handed out all certificates to the very proud children. Another photo session followed, but then it was really time to end the 1MHL Nashik camp. Supriya, Sneha and myself continued our way towards the ATM. Meanwhile, we talked about the camp and its continuation. We agreed that they would continue looking for schools and set up a 1MHL school competition, with me as a supervisor. In addition, they would also give training to teachers and parents to establish and maintain a passion for hockey.
After saying goodbye the next morning, I continued my way to Bharuch in Gujarat.