THE Negri Sembilan HA will be breaking new ground today, when Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan launches an Under-18 League at the Seremban II Stadium.
It will be a first not only for NSHA, but the country as well, and the response is overwhelming as 19 boys and one girls team has registered to compete.
Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah will also be present, and after the formalities, the Tengku Mahkota’s team will play a match against the Menteri Besar side.
“The league will start on Monday and end in April. This league will also have another special feature, as we have accommodated a request from the Negri Malaysia Games girls team to play against the boys.
“We felt that it would be a great exposure for the girls to toughen themselves for the Games which will be held in Malacca,” said NSHA assistant secretary Jusver Singh.
The matches will be held at the Seremban II stadium, as well as the Tunku Besar Secondary School (TBSS) synthetic pitch.
“The TBSS pitch is a little worn out, but still in playable condition. We have written to the relevant authorities for a new turf, but have yet to receive a reply,” said Jusver.
Jusver hopes the NSHA initiative will catch on with the other State HAs as well.
“Negri has produced many national players and with 20 teams taking part, I am sure we will be able to identify a bigger pool of talent not only or the state, but also the country.”
And the NSHA are also planning to field a side in the Malaysia Hockey League this season.
A Tenaga Nasional hockey clinic will also be held today at the Seremban II Stadium, where 360 youth will be taught the basics in two sessions.
Meanwhile, three Malaysian coaches will be in New Delhi for a coaching course in conjunction with the World Cup.
Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club coach R. Vivekanandan, Pro ject 2013 coach K. Dharmaraj and national coach Tai Beng Hai will attend the International Hockey Federation (FIH) coaching course from March 5 onwards.
And if they pass this hurdle, they will be called up for a coaching seminar, and then receive the Class I FIH coaching certificate.