With the hockey competition in full flow at the Maulana Md. Tayabullah Hockey Stadium here, Hockey India's High Performance Director, David John, has been following the action closely to scout for young sub junior and junior level talent. Along with the Australian, India's former player Prabhjot Singh has also been in attendance on behalf of Khelo India and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to identify young players who have the potential to be included in the junior team set-up.
The first edition of the Khelo India Youth Games, held in New Delhi in 2018, was instrumental in finding Haryana's Sharmila Devi, who is currently a member of the Indian women's hockey team, and helped it in qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"I think Khelo India Youth Games is a tremendous platform for all the young players who are representing their respective states. I have been following the action closely for the past two editions and we have been successful in finding someone like Sharmila Devi, who first caught my eye during the first edition of this competition. Her impressive performances meant that she was included in our junior team's set-up, and we are glad to see her develop into a player who now consistently plays with the Indian senior women's hockey team," said David.
"Similarly, a lot of the younger players taking part here can take inspiration from that, and show us what they have got, and if we feel they have the potential to be included in our programme, then we will definitely give them an opportunity," he added.
Former Indian forward Prabhjot, who is also working closely with John as a talent scout, felt that such a competitive platform will only help the younger generation in gaining valuable exposure and experience.
"When you get to play at a competition like this at such a young age, you learn so many things. I have been watching these players perform, and I have been impressed with how these younger players have so much technical knowledge already. They are also getting massive exposure by playing here, and are earning valuable experience in such a competitive environment, which will help them further in their development," said Prabhjot.