Category: Uncategorized

APL Apollo announced as Principal Sponsors of Haryana Steelers for Pro Kabbadi League Season 7

Panchkula (Haryana), 19 July 2019: One of India’s largest Steel Pipes Manufacturers, APL Apollo was announced as the principal sponsor of Haryana Steelers for the seventh season of the Pro Kabbadi League. The JSW Sports-owned franchise made the announcement at their new home ground in Panchkula which will see APL Apollo begin with a one-year association with the Haryana Steelers. The agreement between the two organisations will see APL Apollo feature as the Principal Sponsors across various platforms, including the Official Playing Kits and the front of the official team jersey.

Sanjay Gupta, Chairman, APL Apollo, said, “Kabaddi is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, and we are proud to be associated with it through the Haryana Steelers as their Principal Sponsors. The sport has an ever-growing presence in the country including Haryana, and we want to extend our full support to the team in their endeavour of producing excellent results in the Pro Kabaddi League. Our first venture into sports sponsorship was with JSW Sports for Delhi Capitals, and now we are looking forward to an exciting season of the Pro Kabaddi League with the Haryana Steelers.

Mustafa Ghouse, CEO, JSW Sports, welcomed APL Apollo as the Principal Sponsors of the Haryana Steelers, “We are delighted to announce APL Apollo as the Principal Sponsors of the Haryana Steelers. Being one of India’s largest Steel Pipes Manufacturers, APL Apollo has a major presence in Haryana and throughout the country, and we are looking forward to having a very successful association with them over the course of this  season of the Pro Kabaddi League. The league provides a huge opportunity for our home state to celebrate kabaddi which is native to Harayana and I would like to thank everyone at APL Apollo for extending their support to Haryana Steelers.”

Founded in 1986, APL Apollo has gone from strength to strength to lead the charge in revolutionizing the Steel Tubes and Pipes manufacturing industry. The company is also the largest producer of Electric Resistance Welded (ERW) Steel Pipes and Sections in the country, and is amongst the top-5 Steel Tube manufacturers in the world. 

Dharmaraj Cheralathan-led Haryana Steelers will start their Pro Kabaddi League season against Puneri Paltan on Monday, 22nd July 2019 at 20:30hrs IST at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad.

Kiren Rijiju launches AIFF Golden Baby Leagues Handbook 2019-20

NEW DELHI: Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs & Sports, and Minister of State for Minority Affairs Kiren Rijiju, along with Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation launched the AIFF Golden Baby Leagues Handbook 2019-20 on the sidelines of the Intercontinental Cup in Ahmedabad.

AIFF Technical Director Isac Doru, and CEO, I-League Sunando Dhar were also present on the occasion. The launch also marked the renaming of the ‘AIFF Baby Leagues’ to ‘AIFF Golden Baby Leagues,’ with emphasis being laid for ages under 6 to under 12 as they form the golden age for learning — both for girls, and boys.

“Baby League sounds very cute to me. The actual scouting has to start from a very young age. I have been explained how it’s planned by the AIFF. I’m really interested to see the result of that. We’ll look to put more emphasis on the Golden Baby League tournament,” Rijiju assured.

The Handbook is a guide to help the stakeholder to organize the Golden Baby League. The Leagues aim is to provide access to football in localities irrespective of gender, religion, economic background, or ethnic origin. The League can be organized by anyone, as long as the Handbook guidelines are met.

The AIFF has invited all stakeholders including state associations, clubs, academies, schools, non-government organizations, parents, coaches, football fans to be a part of this grassroots player development initiative. The Handbook can be downloaded from the ‘Document Library’ of the AIFF website, under ‘About AIFF.’

AIFF General Secretary Kushal Das stated that the Golden Baby Leagues “will help more kids to fall in love with the sport.”

“The formative years of a child have always laid the bedrock for a successful footballing culture. The AIFF is now stressing to popularise the sport among the kids. We aim to have every kid playing football under 6 to under 12. The more they play, the more will Indian Football benefit,” Das said.

Isac felt the “completion system is part of the development” for a kid.

“The Golden Baby Leagues, with his new format, and developments is proposing a platform for the Golden Age period players to self-express themselves, and their individual development,” he explained.

“I want to take this opportunity to ask the parents, coaches, and the organizers of the League to understand that the main objectives of playing those games. We need to create a competitive environment in which the players are developing their creativity, self-expression, passion of the game and discovering the value of friendship throughout the team,” the Technical Director said.

“I would also like to encourage the parents or anyone to feel free to contact us for any case of age-fraud activities, and we will act strongly against the offenders.”

Mr. Dhar maintained that the Golden Baby Leagues will further aid the holistic development of Indian Football’s ecosystem.

“The transition of these kids under 6 to under 12 to the U-13 League will now be even smoother. The entire purpose is to present a seamless pathway to the kids and their parents who dream to make it big,” Dhar opined.

NEW DELHI: Prior to the Blue Tigers’ departure for the 2019 King’s Cup, talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri had quipped: “Sahal (Abdul Samad) is an extremely gifted talent. He is someone who really excites me. I don’t know if people have watched a lot of Sahal, but if that guy is fit, he’s got proper talent.”

Since then, Sahal has gone on to make his International debut, and though Igor Stimac’s boys have lost three of the last four, the midfielder has been one of India’s standout performers in the middle of the park with his combination of skill, and work rate.

Sahal was also voted the AIFF Men’s Emerging Footballer of the Year 2018-19 by the coaches of the Hero I-League, and Hero ISL clubs. “It’s difficult to explain in words – the feeling,” the 22-year-old said. “I am trying my best. I have worn the National jersey but I know I have a lot to do. I have to keep working hard, and get selected for the next set of games.”

A natural ball-playing midfielder, Sahal’s dribbling and passing abilities catch the eye, as he provides his coaches a number of options, thanks to his versatility.

“Training with the team and learning from the new coach has been wonderful. We are looking to keep, and pass the ball while attacking. We aim to create multiple threats for our opponents,” the talented midfielder added.

Born in Al-Ain, UAE, he completed his schooling from Al Ain before coming to India for his college degree – a decision which was aided by elder brother Fazil. And that allowed him to pursue his footballing dream.

“I first played football for my school team in the 8th standard. Then I started playing 7s in Dubai, and joined an Academy as well. However, the turning point came when I shifted to India,” Sahal recalls.

A few months after starting his degree, his talent was spotted by coach Siddique of SN College in Kannur who convinced him to switch colleges. From there, Sahal never looked back. After excelling at University-level tournaments, he soon found a place in the district U-21 side, and then the Kerala team for the Santosh Trophy, while also playing a little in the local 7s scene.

For the 2017-18 season, he was signed by ISL side Kerala Blasters for their reserve team, and was promoted to the senior side in the same period as well.

“Playing through the college system was a great experience,” Sahal explains. “I never knew a player could come through the university-level ranks, and play for India so quickly. I owe a lot to my coach who believed in me, and gave me a chance. I had to re-do my first year of college again but in the end, it was certainly worth it,” he smiles.

Sahal is one of the youngest members in this fresh-looking Indian line-up, which also features a number of seasoned campaigners from whom Sahal has “learnt a lot.”

“There’s so much one can learn from the senior players! They have a wealth of experience, and teach us a lot on and off the pitch. Small tips such as taking care of our diet, dealing with pressure, playing our natural game, go a long way in helping newcomers like us,” he expressed.

Early advantage for Indian women as they land in Myanmar

NEW DELHI: Riding on the success of their fifth consecutive SAFF Championship triumph, the Indian Senior Women’s National Team landed in Maldalay, Myanmar today (March 26, 2019) for the forthcoming AFC Olympic Qualifiers Round 2 which kicks-off from April 3, 2019.

The Indian women have been clubbed with hosts Myanmar, Nepal and Indonesia in Group B.

“Arriving 8 days in advance for the Olympic Qualifiers will help us to acclimatize faster. It’s an early advantage which we need to cash upon, Head Coach Maymol Rocky stressed. “If you look at bigger tournaments, teams always arrive early.”

“It usually takes two to three days for a player to fully acclimatize to a new set-up. We are confident that we shall be cent percent ready for the first match, despite the hot, and humid weather,” Maymol maintained.

Maymol added: “The temperatures in Biratnagar during the SAFF Championship served as a warm-up in this regard as well. The girls responded well to the conditions, and I am sure they will adapt in Myanmar too.”

The Indian women are currently unbeaten in the last 23 matches at the SAFF Championship, and have headed to the AFC Qualifiers with an experience of 14 International matches since January 2019.

“In fact, International Football is not just about the weather,” Maymol stated. “Arriving early will help us to get a feel of the training pitches, and also the venues. Along with the physical part, it is important getready mentally. After all, switching to new surroundings can sometimes take time.”

India kick-off their campaign against Indonesia on April 3. The last time the two teams played in Jakarta in January, India had won both the matches.

“Important to do our home-work and produce a strong performance,” says Delhi Capitals’ skipper Shreyas Iyer

New Delhi, 25 March 2019: After starting their IPL 2019 season with an exhilarating victory against the Mumbai Indians, JSW and GMR co-owned franchise, Delhi Capitals will look to start their home leg of fixtures with an another win when they take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Tuesday, 26th March 2019.

Delhi Capitals’ middle-order batsman, Colin Ingram, who scored a blistering 47 off 32 balls against the Mumbai side, believes that the victory in their opening match will only further help in boosting the confidence levels of his team. He said, “It was a fantastic game for us. I feel we were up to the mark in all the three departments. There are obviously areas where we will need to work on and losing early wickets is definitely one of them. However, we did have good partnerships also and I am glad that the boys down the order could also join the party after Shikhar (Dhawan) and I set up the innings.”

Speaking about Rishabh Pant’s unbeaten innings of 78 off just 27 balls, Ingram said that it is great sign for the Delhi Capitals that the young Indian wicketkeeper-batsman is in good form. “It was a special knock by him against the Mumbai Indians. Last year I watched him from back home and he was in good form then as well. It’s a great sign for us that he is in good form, he is a match-winner on his day and it’s going to help in the coming matches,” said the South African.

Captain Shreyas Iyer could only manage 16 runs off 10 balls but looked in good nick during his short innings. However, the 24-year-old is pleased with the way his team performed and wants to repeat the performance on Tuesday against CSK. “I feel it was a great match against Mumbai but we are looking forward to Tuesday where we will have another chance to build some confidence as we play the defending champions. It will obviously be a competitive match, but we need to make sure that we rest well, and prepare in the best way possible. CSK has a lot of experienced players in their side, and we saw how they beat RCB in their first match, so we will be doing our home-work and looking to produce a great performance in front of our fans at the Kotla,” said Iyer.

Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings have previously faced each-other 18 times in the IPL and it is CSK who lead with 12 wins, while the Capitals have only won 6 matches. With CSK having won their opening match convincingly against RCB by 7 wickets, Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium is expected to host a fierce battle between the two teams on Tuesday.

Spirited Indian Women’s Hockey Team beat 2018 Women’s World Cup Bronze Medalist Spain 5-2

Murcia (Spain), 29 January 2019: An improved attack and tactical defending saw the Indian Women’s Hockey Team convincingly beat World Cup Bronze Medalists Spain 5-2 in their third match of the tour here today. Young striker from Mizoram Lalremsiami (17′, 58′) starred in the match by scoring twice while Neha Goyal (21′), Navneet Kaur (32′), Rani (51′) ensure India remained in the lead after an initial setback in the first quarter.

It was Spain who scored the first goal in the seventh minute of the match through Berta Bonastre putting India on the back foot right at the start. But a determined India made a quick recovery with striker Lalremsiami’s fine goal in the 17th minute and then further improvised their attack to score in the 21st minute via Neha Goyal to take a strong 2-1 lead.

Navneet Kaur struck a splendid third goal for the team in the 32nd minute that took India’s lead to 3-1. Though Berta Bonastre scored her second goal of the match in the 35th minute that narrowed India’s lead to 3-2, India worked on a powerful finish in the fourth quarter with Skipper Rani scoring in the 51st minute followed by young striker Lalremsiami scoring again for India in the 58th minute which helped India seal the match 5-2.

Having lost the opening match 2-3 and drawn the second match 1-1, India showed a zealous performance with fewer unforced errors to dominate the match. “I am pleased with today’s performance. We are working to be more steady in our performance and we are improving match-by-match. This is a process and we need to keep repeating such performances to grow further. I am giving constant feedback on individual performance and behaviour and some are learn fast while some need a little bit more time. But overall, we are progressing well and beating World Cup Medal winners in their home ground is a big confidence boost for this young team,” expressed Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.

On 31 January, India will play their fourth match against Spain at 17.30 hours IST.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team lose 2-3 to Spain

Murcia (Spain), 27 January 2019: Indian Women’s Hockey Team put up a spirited fightback yet lost to Spain 2-3 in their opening match against hosts Spain here on Saturday.

India used strong attacking strategy to begin the first quarter on a positive note. The team made the first breakthrough when they managed to earn a penalty corner in the 8th minute but could not convert the shot, however, in the following minutes the forwardline worked together to support experienced Vandana who created a splendid opportunity for compatriot Udita to score in the 12th minute. A reverse pass by Vandana was picked up well by Udita who made no mistake in sending it past the Spanish goalkeeper Maria Ruiz to take a 1-0 lead.

In the second quarter, hosts Spain stepped up their game after the initial setback to score an equaliser in the 23rd minute through Maria Tost. While the second half saw both teams defend well to contain eachother from taking a lead, the third quarter completely belonged to Spain as they struck two goals in the 39th and 40th minute through Lola Reira and Begona Garcia respectively.

The fourth quarter remained tense for India as they fought back to make amends to their defensive lapses in the previous quarter. A tactical approach to their attack saw them win a crucial PC which was brilliantly converted by dragflicker Gurjit Kaur in the 48th minute. The following minutes was evenly fought battle by both teams but Spain ensured they upped their defence to deny India an equaliser.

I-League 2018/19: Big Game at the Tilak Maidan as Churchill Take on Neroca FC

New Delhi, January 18, 2019: By the time Churchill Brothers and Neroca FC take the field at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco Da Gama, Goa, on Saturday, January 19, 2019, both teams will know whether it is only Chennai ahead of them or even Real Kashmir.

Be that as it may, arguably the biggest game of the day, scheduled for a 7.30 PM IST start, promises to be one, not for the faint-hearted with two in-form attack-minded teams battling it out with realistic title aspirations foremost in their minds.

Churchill Brothers have been the more impressive of the two sides, however of their two losses so far, one was to their Saturday opponents in the first-leg fixture.

Neroca, in that game, rode on a Katsumi Yusa brace to stun the high-flying Goans in that instance. Churchill have regrouped since then and now lie second in the table with a five-point gap separating them from league leaders Chennai.

With the form that their striker Willis Deon Plaza has demonstrated so far, a joint highest scorer with Chennai’s Pedro Manzi with 11 goals each, the hosts will be backing themselves to take three points at home.

Churchill’s Romanian coach Petra Gigiu said in the pre-game presser, “It is a difficult game. Neroca is a strong stone and they have many good players. They play well and have an organised team. Defence and attack both are good. We will try our best and try and not make the mistakes we have made earlier. The three points are very important for us and we will be playing to win.”

Neroca go into Saturday’s game on the back of a narrow defeat, their third of the 12th Hero I-League season, in their previous game against Mohun Bagan and will be desperate to get back to winning backs to remain hot contenders for a shot at the title.

Their Spanish coach Manuel Fraile had this to say on match day eve, “We will be fighting for three points but the pressure is on Churchill. Rest we should give our best and win the game. It will be a difficult game tomorrow. We will try to be the Champions. We will stick to our game plan and my team is ready.”

The fluent style of both teams and the quality in attack with the likes of Singham Subash Singh, Felix Chidi for Neroca and Dawda Cessay, Anthony Wolfe for Churchill, the game promises to be a cracker under the lights in Goa.

Star Sports launches India’s First Kannada Sports Channel

Mumbai, January 02, 2019: Star Sports – India’s leading sports broadcaster – has launched Star Sports 1 Kannada, the country’s first dedicated Kannada sports channel. Star Sports aims to provide quality viewing experience in local languages for its fans across India. Earlier this year, Star Sports introduced India’s first Telugu sports channel – Star Sports 1 Telugu – paving the way formoreregional sports channels after the successful launch ofStar Sports 1 Tamil in 2017.

Celebrating the spirit of the Kannadiga culture is at the heart of the launch of Star Sports 1 Kannada. Karnataka as a region, has shown very distinctive viewing habits and an affinity to differentiated language content. This has enabled Star Sports to create a unique, engaging and most importantly, viewer centric offering for the southern state.

Star Sports 1 Kannada, with its rich line-up of sports properties, will help bring Kannadiga sports fans closer to their favourite sports. Now on-air, the broadcast calendar includes live events such as Bengaluru Bulls’ panga in the VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6 finals as they eye their first ever VIVO PKL trophy. The fans can also enjoy Karnataka’s domestic cricket matches, Hero Indian Super League, Premier Badminton League, upcoming AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, Khelo India Youth Games, VIVO IPL and a host of other sporting events being broadcast in Kannada throughout the year. Star Sports 1 Kannada aims to provide fans with region specific quality sports content allowing them to connect with their heroes.

Star India spokesperson said, “Sports is more engaging, enjoyable and thrilling, when it is watched in a language one speaks. Our strong presence in Karnataka has helped us understand how Kannadiga sports fans like to consume sports content. Kannadigas possess an inherent sporting quality of resilience and an undying desire to always win. Star Sports 1 Kannada, with its extensive line-up of popular sports content, is a resolute step towards bringing these Kannadiga fans closer to their favourite games and heroes.”

A promo campaign was launched to support the launch of Star Sports 1 Kannada. Keeping true to essence of the Kannadiga culture, the promo focuses on watching our sport in our language, and the determination and never say die attitude of a kannadiga.

Star Sports 1 Kannada will be available on leading DTH/cable operators across Karnataka as well as rest of India soon.

Fans of Bengaluru Bulls can cheer for their favourite team in their favourite language as they raid for glory in the final panga of VIVO Pro Kabaddi Season 6. The game will be live on Star Sports 1 Kannada on Saturday, January 05, 2019, 8 pm onwards.

Upcoming marquee LIVE sporting action

SportEventDates
KabaddiVIVO Pro Kabaddi – Playoffs and finalsJanuary 03 & 05, 2019
National sportsKhelo India Youth Games 2019January 2019
FootballAFC Asian Cup UAE 2019January – February 2019
BadmintonPremier Badminton LeagueJanuary 2019
CricketIndia’s Tour of New ZealandJanuary – February 2019
CricketAustralia’s Tour of IndiaFebruary – March 2019
CricketVIVO IPL 2019TBC
CricketICC Cricket World Cup 2019May – July 2019
FootballHero Indian Super LeagueFebruary 2019 onwards
KabaddiVIVO Pro Kabaddi 2019 (Season 7)July 2019


Manika is the Breakthrough Star and Massimo the Star Coach!

New Delhi, December 12: It had turned out to be a breakthrough year for India’s most celebrated woman paddler, Manika Batra, as she bagged the 2018 Breakthrough Star award at a glittering function at Incheon tonight.

Thus, the Delhi girl became the only Indian athlete to be honoured at the ITTF Star Awards and also the first player from outside of Japan to be named the Breakthrough Star.

Manika, who enjoyed a sensational outing at the Commonwealth Games, earning India its first-ever gold medal in the women singles category and helping the squad win its first ever gold along with medals in women doubles and mixed doubles events, was bestowed with the honour for being the best paddler find of the year in the category.

Her glittering journey which began at Gold Coast continued in the Asian Games at Jakarta where the Delhi girl played her part to perfection in guiding India to its second table tennis bronze medal at the 2018 Games, partnering A. Sharath Kamal in the mixed doubles.

“I couldn’t have imagined at the beginning of the year. The way it has culminated has made me feel happy and more responsible. I have to thank many for such a wonderful opportunity,” said Manika, speaking from Incheon.

“I really want to thank the International Table Tennis Federation for acknowledging my efforts throughout the year.  For me personally, it has been one of the most eventful years of my sporting career so far and this is a just reward for my hard work and training. I would like to thank the Table Tennis Federation of India, Sports Authority of India and the Sports Ministry and, above all, my coach Sandeep Sir and my physio Subodh Sir without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. My thanks are due to my department Indian Oil Corporation Limited for their continuous support. 
I would like to thank my family who supported me and been there as my pillar of strength,” said Manika, recalling the efforts each one of them had put in to shape her career.

MASSIMO THE STAR COACH

In fact, it was double celebration for Indian table tennis as chief coach of the national team, Massimo Costantini, received the Star Coach award after leading the country to record-breaking performances at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 Asian Games.

India won an astounding eight medals at the CWG in Gold Coast including three gold medals. Besids, India also won their first Asian Games medals in the Men’s Team and mixed doubles at Jakarta.

The Italian, thus, became only the fourth coach to take home the Star Coach award. Earlier, Pedro Rufino, Liu Guoliang and Jörg Rosskopf were bestowed with the honour.

“I can’t thank enough ITTF for the award. But I wouldn’t have been here without the fantastic bunch of players in both sections which TTFI provided me. They were really wonderful and responded well. I must thank all those concerned in India, including SAI, for the wonderful opportunity to serve the cause of Indian table tennis,” said Massimo.

Dushyant Chautala, president of TTFI, in a congratulatory message to Manika Batra said, “she richly deserved the award,” adding, “Manika proved herself in both the Games that a star was born.”

Secretary General M.P. Singh, in his congratulatory message to both Manika and Massimo Costantini, said: “It was a wonderful year for Indian table tennis and Manika epitomized it with her performances. She was the star performer and deserves all the accolades. And Massimo was a worthy coach who made it all possible and I wish him all the success.”

The ITTF Star Awards is the official awards ceremony organised by the international body since 2013. It is the most prestigious award given to recognize, honour and celebrate the stars of table tennis, the athletes who have made table tennis their passion, career and life.