Renewing The Old And Wrinkled Face Of Sports In India

Hockey Village India Foundation, India

Ankita Sinha on June 29, 2018 in Sports

The universe is full of good intentions and good deeds. All we need to spot one is to look around for one. Seldom, however, some good deeds emerge so strong and deterred against all odds that their mere existence inspires many more good deeds and changes all around them for better.

One such inspiring story is that of Andrea Thumshirn, a German national whose passion for hockey and travel landed her in India to fulfil her destiny. Hockey Village India Foundation is the brainchild of Andrea, a hockey player since the age of 6. After retiring from the team, she set up her travel agency which brought her to a visit of a village in Rajasthan called Garh Himmat Singh. Moved by the third world conditions that the people were living under in this area, she decided to make a difference using the only armours that she had- education and a hockey stick.

She initially started teaching hockey to the local village children as an evening fun activity with an intention to promote physical fitness as well as sports in the area. The initiative further widened its objective as she saw the withering quality of education that the village schools imparted to these children and decided to bring a positive change. In the year 2010, Andrea and her painstakingly formed team of volunteers from Germany as well as India gathered funds and employed them for building an institution that would impart education to these underprivileged children while continuing to coach them in hockey.

Unfortunately, they had to face and fight through something more than just these third world conditions. The real hurdle was actually deep-rooted in the third world mindset of the locals who believed that the foundation was apparently trying to impose western culture on their kids. Though certain that the mindset might take decades to broaden, Andrea and her team refused to give in and kept striving to achieve the goals that they believed in. The foundation slowly expanded from one village to a few more in the state of Rajasthan itself, bringing a ray of hope to the lives of more than 250 children by now.

They now give primary education to its children till the 3rd grade in their self-funded educational institutions. The children are facilitated further education by tie-ups with various well-managed local schools where they can actually come face to face with opportunities that help them achieve their full potential.

Having developed a total of 3 Hockey India villages by now and making their way down south through the villages of Goa and Karnataka, these people have kept up the good work against all the odds. They not only train children in the sport, but also organise hockey village leagues among the hockey villages in order to test the abilities of players and instil in them qualities like team-spirit and leadership. Besides, the job of gathering sponsors to fund the education of these children never stops.

As Andrea has quoted herself, the aim is not to prepare contenders for India in Olympics or to win medals, but to promote the very much lacking sports’ culture in the remote areas, and thus ensure physical fitness of all. Apart from that, the foundation works untiringly to ensure quality primary education for all the underprivileged children, saving them from being devoid of any opportunities that the usual children get.

To read more about the inspirational work they are doing, visit Hockey Village India Foundation today!

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