The ‘Hockeypatti’ of Madurai

  • By Hindu
  • | Wednesday | 13th September, 2017

Inspired by Raju’s brand of hockey, Raja has started Vadipatti Raja Hockey Academy in Chennai employing the strategies and techniques he learnt from the veteran. Soaked in the artistry of Indian hockey, Raju taught his students dribbling and dodging skills and evolved a distinct hockey style for Vadipatti. Hockey selectors look for Vadipatti players in every selection trials and there is never a state team without them. But the centre provides free graphite hockey sticks and training for the boys,” says Suresh, Physical Education Teacher of the Vadipatti school. Two of our boys were part of the State team that won All India Rural Sports title.

Vadipatti, a bustling rural suburb was an unknown entity in sports till L Raju arrived here three decades ago.

Today, the town is synonymous with hockey with players of international calibre emerging out of Raju’s stable. The veteran hockey coach, who began his career in Coonoor as physical education teacher in a management school, came to his home town to serve in Government Boys Higher Secondary School and it turned out to be a blessing for the students when Raju converted the existing football ground into a hockey ground and started coaching them.

“I noticed the boys playing football very spiritedly.

Their sprinting ability caught my eyes.

As I was also interested in our national game and wanted to produce quality players, I taught them the nuances of hockey and it is producing good results,” says Raju. With the help of like minded coach Thangaraj, he transformed the place into a hockey hub.

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