It’s kinda cool when you come across old articles on the internet which show how much of a difference you’ve actually made in the world.
Back in 2000, when I moved to Qatar – I was devastated to find out there was no hockey at all. It was my favourite sport, and I’ve been playing representative since I was 12, and Premier Women’s League since I was 15.
So as a determined school girl, I rented out the sand astro to hold training sessions with whoever I could round up (my friends mostly… even though a lot of them had never played before, and just enjoyed getting violent with sticks).
This expanded and it eventually became a club. With the support of my dad (I needed an adult at times), we appraoched the expatriate pakistani and indian men and requested some matches..
This saw them forming their own clubs, and the desire for a league came into being. However facilities were scarce and no sports stores selling equipment was difficult. We had to import everything.
I unfortunately then had to leave to start a career in Australia, however my father took my place and proudly sit on the Qatar Olympic Committee (Hockey). Love your work dad! Qatar now has more than one hockey stadiums/turfs in Qatar, a hockey academy, a league and some decent clubs.
Here is one of the articles..
In the gulf times today
Ambitious plan to develop hockey in Qatar unveiled
Published: Tuesday, 27 November, 2007, 02:44 AM Doha Time
QOC secretary general Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrehman al-Thani (centre) is seen with other officials during a media briefing held in Doha yesterday
By Sports Reporter
QATAR Olympic Committee (QOC) has decided to render long-term support in developing field hockey in Qatar. A committee has been formed and plans have been chalked out for the 2008-2009 season.
Hockey, which is mainly followed by the expatriate population, will have their own league and an academy to nurture young talent.
This was announced during a media briefing by Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, QOC secretary-general.
“Hockey is one of the popular sports among the expatriate population in Qatar and we are more than happy to render our support to them,” said Sheikh Saoud.
“HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has asked us to get hockey in our fold after seeing the overwhelming enthusiasm and interest among the expatriates during the Asian Games,” added Sheikh Saoud.
The Qatar Hockey round-robin league will be played in two rounds commencing from January 11, 2008 and it will feature the four already existing clubs — Wanderers Hockey Club, Doha Hockey Club, Pak Hockey Club and Gateway Hockey Club — vying for top honours.
A knock-out tournament will also feature in the 2008-09 calendar.
The league will take place at the Al Rayyan Stadium, where the 2006 Doha Asian Games hockey matches were held and the stadium will be soon undergoing some renovation to incorporate change rooms.
The academy is scheduled to be launched by December 14 and selected children between the age group of 8-14 will be given extensive coaching.
The school authorities have been assigned with the selection process. Shuttle services will be provided for the selected boys for the practice that will be held between 3.30pm and 7.00pm on Fridays.
“Already many Indian, Pakistani and Western schools practice hockey and they will be more than happy to know about this development. We are expecting a good response in the coming days,” felt president Hasan al-Qadi.
An India versus Pakistan friendly match is also planned in the month of March and April to boost this cause.
“We have been having talks with both Indian and Pakistani hockey federations in this regard and will be finalising things soon. I am sure the response to this match will be phenomenal,” asserted secretary Mohd Abdul Nazer.
If everything goes as per the plan, QOC will also try to get affiliation with the International Hockey Federation.
“We will see how things will shape up in the coming months and maybe in the future we will try and get hockey if not as a federation but as a club registered with the International and Asian Hockey Federation. I am sure they will be more than happy to get us into their fold,” notified Sheikh Saoud.
“We want this organisation to be a profit making one and will try to rope in sponsors and host maybe a Qatar hockey championship where teams can come and participate for a handsome reward every year. However, all this will shape up in the coming years, this is just a beginning,” added Sheikh Saoud.
The following are the committee members: Hasan al-Qadi (president), Easa al-Harami (QOC representative), Mohd Abdul Nazer (secretary), Tariq W. Kureishy (member), Neville Gibbs Jones (technical co-ordinator). Teams: Wanderers Hockey Club, Doha Hockey Club, Pak Hockey Club, Gateway Hockey Club.