'Why do we have to do this?': MP civil services women's hockey team members on playing beyond 50

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, July 14, 2022, 06:38 PM IST
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Members of the Madhya Pradesh civil services women’s hockey team |

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Madhya Pradesh Civil Services women’s hockey team takes the field in various competitions, but there has been no recruitment in the squad for the last two decades.

In the All India Civil Services Hockey tournament held at Major Dhyanchand Stadium in June, most of the rival teams' players were approximately 30 to 40 years old, but the MP women's team's players were in their 50s.

They have been waiting for the entry of younger members under the sports quota for over two decades.

No recruitment

“We have to play at the age of 55 to 60. There has been no new recruitment of women hockey players, who have played at national level in government jobs under sports quota for at least two-and-a-half decades,” a player told Free Press Journal on the basis of anonymity.

Savita Surve, captain of the team, said: “Why do we have to play at this age? I was recruited for a government job in 1986. We are being criticised for our fitness and game, but no one is questioning why we have to play at this age. Why don't we have new and young players in our team."

No coach

She further said that besides the recruitment issue, the team was neither provided with a coach, nor did they have enough time to practise ahead of the tournament. They even had to attend their office during the tournament.

Vinod Pradhan, joint director, sports, confirmed that there have been recruitments in other sports, but not in hockey.

“I will be retiring in five months, but I am still playing," said Lucy Alphanso.

Another team member said: “All of us have played and won many tournaments, but then we were physically fit and practised regularly. But now, as we are ageing, we don't have enough time to practise, we are unable to perform like we used to do earlier. Hockey is a team sport but with half the team above 55 and are playing against players who are half their age, it is a lost game.”

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