It’s not often that we see former hockey internationals as well as Olympians (post-retirement) congregate and challenge each other, or should we say have some ‘fun’ on a hockey pitch. This is where the One Team One Dream (OTOD) deserves a big pat on their backs for shouldering the massive responsiblity of holding a hockey tournament for the former greats of Indian hockey. After the howling success of the first Seniors Hockey Carnival at Mumbai in October 2021, the OTOD in conjunction with R2MI Kreeda (a marketing solutions company) is gearing up to hold the second Seniors Hockey Carnival at Bengaluru on May 28 and 29.
The concept of Seniors Hockey Carnival was driven by the Indian men hockey team’s historic bronze medal finish at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. OTOD has lined up plans to hold this event across the country. “Our objective is to get our former internationals and Olympians together. Our inaugural Seniors Hockey Carnival at Mumbai was a big success. We wanted to hold the next edition at Lucknow in January but owing to state elections and Covid-19 we had to cancel it. We are braced up to hold the second edition in Bengaluru and will subsequently hold this event in different cities such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, and Hyderabad. The intent is to have this event once every three months,” says OTOD Secretary Leo Devadoss, the man who has been putting in the herculean efforts behind the scenes in a chat with Hockey Passion.
The R2MI Kreeda 2nd Seniors Hockey Carnival will have a bevy of former internationals and Olympians such as Dhanraj Pillay, VS Vinaya, Anil Aldrin, Bharat Chetri, Len Aiyappa, Arjun Halappa, CS Poonacha, among a host of others. “It’s an exciting feeling to have all these former internationals for this two-day event. What’s more we would also have the likes of Mukul Pandey and Ramesh Parmeshwaran both in their seventies playing. Other stalwarts such as MM Somaya, Ashish Ballal, AB Subbaiah would also among our non-playing supporters,” says Devadoss with a tinge of excitement.
As many nine teams would slug it out in the two-day event. Hosts One Team One Dream (OTOD) are among the participating teams – other teams include United Thallasery Sports Club (UTSC), Coorg Gulf, DD Sports Academy, Bangalore Pirates, Kalyan Karnataka, Josephites, Different Strokes, and Primrose Hockey Club.
Players over 40 years of age would be part of the 2nd The Seniors Hockey Carnival. Each match will be played for a total duration of 20 minutes, with a half-time break of 3 minutes at the end of 10 minutes. As many eight teams are expected to slug it out. This tournameny is being sponsored by Bengaluru-based start-up R2MI Kreeda. “We really appreciate R2MI Kreeda coming forward to sponsor this event – they are committed to support all our seven events,” he quips.
Each team comprise 10 players, including one goalkeeper and one player-cum-manager. The tournament will be played on a league cum direct final basis. At the end of the league phase, only the top 3 teams from two pools advance to the finals of the three-level event, which effectively means that the 4th placed team will be eliminated from the competition.
The first-level final would feature the winner of Pool A against the winner of Pool B and the winners will receive the winning trophy instituted in memory of former SAI coach Manohar Katke. The second-level final would feature the second-placed team of Pool A against the second-placed team of Pool B and the winners will receive the winning trophy instituted in memory of former Indian women’s hockey team captain Elvera Britto. The third-level final would feature the third-placed team of Pool A against the third-placed team of Pool B and the winners will receive the winning trophy instituted in memory of former Indian forward Sandeep Michael.
Formed in 2010, One Team One Dream (OTOD) comprises a group of passionate hockey fans from all over the country and as well as from the UK, Malaysia, Finland, US, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Belgium among others. In its avatar as a fan club of Indian hockey, OTOD members can be seen rooting for the Indian men and women teams at various international tournaments in India as well as abroad.