Hockey radiates bright future

Major Dhyanchand Stadium Pimpri now a showpiece stadia in PCMC

Hockey radiates bright future
The revamped Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium

PUNE: Not always does reality unfold with a snap. But when it does one is often reminded of the age-old adage: where there is a will there's a way.

In what certainly is “the dawn of a new beginning,” the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) worked out a near-total overhaul on the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium, Nehrunagar-Pimpri to present the facility as no less than the best.

Optimistic understanding would point towards a few more inclusions which many would agree when in place will raise the standard of the facility by a few more notches and better star ratings.

Looking beyond an upward graph is certainly not a distant horizon, but instead is just a handshake away.

While the 11th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship Pimpri Chinchwad 2021 beckons Saturday, the preparations of the stadium signed off with the floodlights radiating brilliance.

The moment was breathtaking! And to understand better one needed to know that the newly laid blue pitch, the designer scaffolding spectator shelters behind the goals, the fresh paint lacquered walls all under a 2000+ lux illumination (maximised to 2400 for telecast) created a magical all-too-inviting-to-be-around view.

The four illuminating towers brought memories aplenty ever since it was a first-of-its-kind installation in 2011 by the PCMC at any of its big-scale sporting venues. Ironically, back then the floodlights were primarily put up for the inaugural 2012 World Series Hockey – an extravaganza that followed a franchisee-based model. In fact, the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium played home ground to Pune Strykers who was led by two-time Olympian Canadian Ken Pereira.

The floodlights catalysed a flash of memories and out came tidbits of information. Hockey Maharashtra Honorary Secretary, Manoj Bhore brought forth the 2013 Hockey India Senior Men’s National Championship final which was under lights wherein Air India Sports Promotion Board beat Hockey Punjab 6-2 after a 5.30 pm start.

Shridharan Thamba, who officiated in the 2012 WSH, informed that 8 matches of high-voltage action were played at the Stadium and all under lights. He also brought to light that the floodlights were used for the shooting of the Bollywood flick Dhol and in another instance for the advert shoot for Maggie. For both the commercial shoots two towers towards the entry gate of the stadium were used.

Having served for a decade, the fast-track turnaround of the stadium was basically done with a lot of intent – the Nationals being the trigger and making PCMC a sporting hub - the larger picture. To conjoin this the need was for someone to understand and action the plan. In PCMC Municipal Commissioner, Rajesh Patil (I.A.S) came up with the idea to shape a better township with sports in focus.

It does not take rocket science to know that any infra becomes a hit when it can deliver a good spectator experience and good facilities to play. Both combined attract the masses. Thus, armed with the experience of being part of the Odisha FIH World Cup Organising Committee it was easy to connect the same in PCMC.

Rest assured with the thought process rightly unfolded, the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium has surely become a facility to rave about.