Haryana team wins gold in korfball; four city players part of the winning team
Haryana’s under-19 team has won gold in the korfball (a game similar to basketball and netball) event during the 65th National School Games held in Ranchi on Sunday. The team won the final match against Bhopal with a score of 10-2.
Four players — two boys and two girls — from the city were part of the team. The team returned from Chhattisgarh on Tuesday. The captain of the team, Ravi Das, said that after this win, he has high hopes that his fortunes will change. “I live in a small shanty in Dhankot. My father happens to be a rickshaw-puller. Korfball is the only way my family’s fortunes can change,” said Das who studies in Class 11, Government Senior Secondary School, Dhankot, near Sector 100.
18-year-old Khushboo, who has been playing korfball for the last three years, said that this is the only sport in the world where boys and girls can play together. Khusboo, who was part of the winning team, said, “This sport treats boys and girls as equals.” Her father is a hawker who sells vegetables in DLF Phase-1. “There are not many people who are familiar with this game, I only hope that after this win, more kids will start playing this game,” said Khusboo.
The 18-year-old said that she enjoys playing with boys. “In Korfball, boys can only tackle boys and the same rule applies for girls. If a boy accidentally touches a girl, it leads to a foul with a penalty,” said Khusboo. Many don’t know this, but India has a national korfball team. India came third twice in the Asia-Oceania Korfball Championship, first in 2002 and later in 2006.
Explaining how the game is played, Rajender Singh, games teacher, Dhankot government school who went with the team, said, “The team has 16 members, of whom four girls and four boys are part of the playing eight. Players are not allowed to block, tackle or hold players. Neither are they allowed to kick the ball. A player can only aim and shoot.” Talking about the game, Lalit Kumar, international korfball player said, “The sport is a cross between netball and basketball. It is played on a bigger pitch with the goalposts not quite at either end. In this game, everybody shoots, everybody defends.”
Gurugram players practise korfball every day at Nehru Stadium for two hours. “The players are given training at Nehru Stadium and government school ground in Dhankot. There are around 40 players in the city who come to the ground,” said Kumar.