Newly elected Asian Hockey Federation Vice President Dato Manjit Majid Abdullah has plans to help uplift the standard of hockey in the region.
Being handed the portfolio of Special Projects and Events, Manjit took to the task akin to fish taking to the waters.
Developing a close working relationship with AHF President Dato Fumio Ogura and Chief Executive Officer Dato Tayab Ikram is key to ensuring that the plans are put in place.
“ I will seek guidance and advice from these two gentlemen, as they know exactly what is needed for Hockey in Asia” said Manjit.
“I am already working on several potential sponsors towards enhancing the financial standing of AHF.”
Utmost on the mind of the man who first got involved in hockey administration way back in 1984 is to look into the ways and means to generate competitions that will help popularise the sport.
“We need to evolve with the tines and with Hockey 5’s to be featured more prominently…it will be good if we pay more serious attention to this version of the sport,” said Manjit.
“Towards this end, we are looking at the possibility of starting an Under 21 tournament for both boys and girls in the coming year.
“There is already an Under 18 tournament that serves as a qualifier for the Youth Olympics.
“Therefore, an Under 21 event will serve as continuity, as we feel that Hockey 5’s has the potential to grow.”
Besides the new tournament, Manjit feels that the countries within South East Asia have the potential to develop the sport further.
“We normally have field Hockey in the South East Asian Games every two years, “explained Manjit.
“But we can foresee that starting from Manila this year, hockey may not be contested for the next three editions
“As such, there is a dire need to revive the SEA Cup that was last held a few years ago to help Southeast Asian Countries continue to invest in the sport.”
While good, the introduction of the FIH Pro League had no teams from Asia competing.
India declined early on, while Pakistan withdrew after confirmation due to financial issues.
Asia has six countries that could well have their own versions of the Pro League. India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Korea, Japan and China have the potential to kick start the league.
“This is another aspect that I will pay close attention to, as the travelling cost is significantly cheaper,” added Manjit.
“We need to look at broadcasting rights and an airline partners to help defray the cost incurred by the countries.
“All the plans will be formulated and discussed with Ogura and Tayab before being presented at the AHF Executive Board meeting soon.”