After kabaddi, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) will now focus on hockey and make efforts for lifting the standard of the national game.
The first step in this direction is to put in place an under-15 boys' team of the SGPC. A five-member committee has been set up for selecting the probables for the team. The selection committee includes former Indian captain of the 1975 World Cup winning team, Ajitpal Singh and his team-mate, Brig Harcharan Singh (retd), former captain and MLA Pargat Singh, internationals Surjit Singh Sodhi and Rajpal Singh.
In a release issued on Sunday, SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh said the camps for selecting the team will be held at NIS, Patiala (April 16), Olympian Surjit Singh Hockey Stadium, Jalandhar (April 17) and GNDU Astroturf ground, Amritsar, on April 18.
Those selected will be admitted to an SGPC-run educational institution and will be given free education and accommodation, free books, free sports kits and free food. They will be required to study in this institution till Class 12 and will only represent the SGPC team in tournaments. However, they can play for Punjab or Amritsar district, if selected in respective teams.
Keeping in lines with the SGPC rules for the kabaddi team, the selected players will have to be 'sabat soorat' (physical appearance) Sikhs. Of late, the SGPC kabaddi team has performed well and won several tournaments within the country and abroad, including Canada, US and England.