The Women’s Inter-Department National Championship and Junior Academy National Championship will be the first tournaments.

After having successfully staged all the National Championships in the pandemic-hit 2021 calendar, Hockey India will begin the 2022 Indian hockey domestic season with the 2nd Hockey India Senior Women Inter-Department National Championship 2022 and the 2nd Hockey India Sub Junior Men Academy National Championship 2022 from 23rd March onwards in New Delhi and Ghumanhera respectively. 

A total of six teams will vie for top honours at the 2nd Indian hockey Senior Women Inter-Department National Championship 2022 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. The teams will play five matches each in the pool stage and the top two ranked teams will take on each other in the Final of the second edition of the Hockey India Senior Women Inter-Department National Championship 2022 on 30th March. The finalists of the previous edition, Railway Sports Promotion Board and Sports Authority of India will kick off the tournament on Wednesday.

Railway Sports Promotion Board Coach and former Indian Women’s Hockey team Captain Pritam Siwach stated that her team is prepared to defend the Title.

“We have been training really hard for the past 20 days, we have a lot of new players coming in and I think the team is shaping up really well. We are very much looking forward to the competition and are certainly prepared to defend the Title,” Pritam Siwach, Coach Railway Sports Promotion Board said. “The exclusive championship for departments is a really great initiative. I think it will not only create job opportunities for players, but will also inspire other departments to set up women hockey teams.”

Meanwhile, Coach Pradeep Singh’s side Sashastra Seema Bal, which finished third in the previous edition, is confident of putting up a better show than last year.

“I think we are prepared in the best way possible. We have worked hard, and the players are confident of doing better than the previous edition. Let’s see how things pan out in the tournament, but we are ready for it. We have some new players in the team and I believe this tournament will provide a very good exposure to them,” said Sashastra Seema Bal Pradeep Singh.

Meanwhile, as many as 29 teams will compete in the 2nd Hockey India Sub Junior Men Academy National Championship 2022 which will be played at the Major Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in Ghumanhera on Wednesday. After six days of pool matches, the Quarter Finals will be played on 29 March, the Semi Finals will be held on 31 March whereas the Medal matches are scheduled for 1 April.

Speaking on the prospect of defending the Title, Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy Coach  Mohd Sameer Dad said,” Of course, there will be a pressure going as the defending Champions in the competition, but it will totally depend on how players react to it. There are some players who were part of last year’s win, we have also scouted new players, so it makes a good team combination of new and little experienced kids in the team. We have prepared well, we just need to approach match-by-match.”

On the other hand, Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre, which finished second in the inaugural edition, are aiming for another podium finish at the 2nd Hockey India Sub Junior Men Academy National Championship 2022.

“We are really excited to take part in the second edition of the Sub Junior Men Academy National Championship. It gives a unique experience to the Academy kids. These kids had recently watched the FIH Pro League matches from close quarters, so they are really motivated to step on the field and apply their learnings from what they have observed in the International games and, we are aiming for yet another podium finish in this tournament,” said Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre Coach Vijay Paswan.

The participating teams include Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy, Markandeshwar Hockey Academy, HIM Academy in Pool A, while Pool B features Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre, Dhyan Chand Hockey Academy and Bhai Behlo Hockey Academy Bhagta. Pool C features Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy, Cheema Hockey Academy and Citizen Hockey XI, while Pool D consists of SGPC Hockey Academy, Jai Bharat Hockey Academy, Malwa Hockey Academy Hanumangarh, Thirumalvalavan Hockey Academy.

Pool E will include Olympian Vivek Singh Hockey Academy, Namdhari XI, Tamil Nadu Hockey Academy and Smart Hockey Academy, Raipur, while Pool F will include Raja Karan Hockey Academy, Naval Tata Hockey Academy – Jamshedpur, Berar Hockey Academy (Vidarbha) Amravati and Salute Hockey Academy. Pool G features SAI-Academy, Ghumanhera Riser’s Academy, Army Boys Sports Company and Republican Sports Club, while Pool H will see Vadipatti Raja Hockey Academy, HAR Hockey Academy, Gangpur Sports Academy and Maharaja Ranjit Singh Hockey Academy.

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