Lucknow: India is world champion at junior level of hockey, but you would be disappointed to know that lots of government-run hockey academies does not possess proper facilities.
Trainees at the UP state government-run hostel in Lucknow generally practice on the turf that has become redundant because the game at international level is played on an artificial turf.
In KD Singh Babu Stadium, players coming in the age bracket of 14 to 20 only get a chance to harness their skill on artificial surface on Saturday and Sundays. They also get to use the turf at the time of state coaching camps.
If you happen to be a player, you have to travel 20km a day in order to avail modern facilities at other venues.
At present, there are more than 60 trainees, including 20 girls, in the hostel. Since all national level competitions are played on artificial turf, by training on grass surface, improvement in skill level is questionable.
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Experts believe that players should start training on artificial surface from the initial stage itself in order to enhance their skill level.
Although the hostel for hockey was set up in 80s with trainees getting education and sport kit but when it comes to artificial surface, nothing substantial has been done.