With renowned hockey coach, Australia's Ric Charlesworth, personally training them, it was a rich learning experience for Joydeep Kaur, a member of the Asian All Star women's team, and Danish Mujtaba at the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) in Perth recently.
Clarence Lobo, the national hockey team's assistant coach received coaching tips from the Australian legend but also participated in sessions on use of video analysis in hockey.
The India trio went to Australia as part of an exchange programme initiated by the Australia-India Council in association with Hockey Australia and Hockey India.
Charlesworth designed the programme and along with Neil Hawgood, the women's team coach, personally trained the players.
Under Charlesworth, the Australian men's team won the World Cup in New Delhi last year while he coached the women's team to two Olympic gold medals and two World Cups from 1993 to 2000. “It was a nice experience training alongside the Australian team. The coaches gave us personal attention and the training there will certainly help me give better results,” said Joydeep Kaur, who is currently attached with the national camp in New Delhi. “The facilities at AIS are world-class and the interactions with Charlesworth and Neil Hawgood, were very fruitful. We have worked a lot on the physical fitness schedule,” she added.
Under the programme, every year Hockey India will send a coach and a male and female player for a training stint Down Under. The player has to be under-25 years of age.
“It is a good move and will help in the development of the Indian hockey. This year, the stint was for 10 days but from next year, it will be for a longer duration,” said Anupam Gulati, executive director HI.