Ranchi: A hockey player from a non-descript village in Simdega district of Jharkhand, Salima Tete, has brought home not just laurels for herself by participating in the Tokyo Olympics but also a plethora of opportunities for her co-players. Having attracted the eyeballs of both government and private players, the fate of players in Simdega is likely to change.
The district administration in Simdega has started a skill development, career counselling and personality development centre inside the District Employment Office building to groom the youth, particularly sportspersons to meet industry standards for employment. Deputy commissioner Sushant Gaurav said that Simdega has been excelling in sports but many a time the players do not feel confident enough to perform outside the state and the country. “Body language training and spoken English training to players will boost their confidence and help them in improving their performance on the field. We aim to develop this centre as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for the youth and students of the district,” he said.
On the other hand, an alumnus of St Johns School and St Xavier’s College in Ranchi, professor Arun Roy, in his individual capacity has reached out to the players of the district who are not covered under government schemes. Roy has arranged donations to fund nutritious meals for the players.
“Once a player gets an opportunity to participate in the Olympics, it encourages many others to take up sports but not all are covered by government benefits,” he said. Identifying such players through hockey coach at Simdega hockey centre Manoj Konbegi, Roy has arranged nutritious ration for a dozen players to begin with.
The ration packets have been arranged in consultation with nutritionist Dr Mamta Kumari and comprise locally available stuff like soya and wheat flour, kabuli, black grams, dates, rajma and mustard oil.
A similar support has been extended to players in Bariatu girls hockey centre. Roy has also initiated online spoken English training sessions for the players.
“We are trying to operate as a bridge and would channel whatever help comes our way to these players,” Roy said, adding that he has plans to identify more such players and provide them with nutrition support. Dr Raj Chandra Jha from Ranchi has joined Roy’s cause to provide medical assistance to the players while Dr Glenn Mascarenhans and Dr Manisha Bose from Bangkok have offered to provide training in communication skills to the players.