Television

President Kalam blesses Premier Hockey League; meets captains

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New Delhi, November 29, 2005 - The honorable president of India, his excellency Dr A P J Abdul Kalam today met the five captains of the Premier Hockey League Tier I teams to convey his best wishes before the start of the second edition of the innovative Premier Hockey League. The five captains Dilip Tirkey (Hyderabad Sultans), Gagan Ajit Singh (Sher-e-Jallandhar), Viren Rasquinha (Maratha Warriors), Arjun Halappa (Bangalore Hi-Fliers) and Rajpal Singh (Chandigarh Dynamos) called on the President to seek his blessings for the future of the League and his support for the sport. K P S Gill, President, Indian Hockey Federation; K Jothikumaran, Secretary General of the Indian Hockey Federation; R C Venkateish, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd; and S S Dasgupta, Managing Director, Leisure Sports Management, also met His Excellency along with the five captains

Giving words of encouragement to the five Premier Hockey League Captains, the President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, said, "You must always think that you are winning when you are practicing. This habit along with hard work and God's blessings will help you in winning. You should become Captain of the problem and defeat the problem itself."

The President further added, "Like any other economic activity sports & games are also important." A staunch advocate of developing the youthful human resources of the country, the President had said in his address at the opening of the 14th Parliament: "The youth constitute a large and vibrant segment of India's population. Their energy, zeal and motivation will be harnessed through special programmes to enable them to realize their potential and achieve their ambitions in all activities, ranging from economic and social spheres to the arts and sports. We extend the very best wishes to our sportspersons participating in all forthcoming events."

Speaking on the occasion, K P S Gill said, "I am extremely grateful to the President for giving his valuable time to inspire the five captains of the Premier Hockey League. I am sure that the encouraging words from the President will inspire all the teams to give their best during the league."

ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd. Managing Director R C Venkateish said, "The league has an interesting format which is aimed at getting the people back to watch India's national sport."

The visibly happy captains presented a 'PHL Hockey Stick' to the President. Speaking on behalf of all the players and captains, Dilip Tirkey, Captain of the Indian Hockey Team and Captain of Hyderabad Sultans, said, "PHL could not have asked for a better boost. The Championship, only in its second avatar, is already recognized as the most innovative one in the world. His Excellency's gesture will inspire us to scale further heights."

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