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Hockey: Don Bosco High School add to Mumbai's turf time at Matunga

By Aditya Amonkar and Aayush Kaudare
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Mumbai, Apr. 8. Think hockey. Think Don Bosco, Matunga! The iconic sky blue colours of the Institution have dominated the school hockey circuit for over three decades. On March 30, with a host of Olympians in its midst, the Matunga-based school inaugurated a Fedrration Internationale de Hockey (FIH) approved full-sized astroturf pitch with the hope to develop future generations of hockey acumen. The Salesian Provincial of Mumbai, Father Godfrey D' Souza, was the chief guest for the opening ceremony.
The turf was dedicated to Father Jude D'Mello, the late and former Rector of the Institution. Among the prominent hockey names present at the inauguration ceremony was former India hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay, goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza, Gavin Ferreira, Clarence Lobo, Edgar Mascarenhas Sr, Edgar Mascarenhas Jr, Darryl D'Souza, Yuvraj Walmiki, Rahul Singh, and Girish Pimpale.  

Father D'Souza, in his inaugural address, observed, ''This is a tonic to the sport. It's a great initiative to revive the sport.'' Hockey has in the last decade fallen out of favour with the masses of the country, with cricket and racquet sports gaining prominence.

Pillay, who addressed the gathering, sensed winds of change approach, given that the importance of sport is being recognised nationwide. He spoke about the importance of sports in a child's life and also amplified the importance of a healthy and balanced diet for youth.

The Rector, Father Crispino D'Souza, the chief architect of this project - along with his team of Don Bosco Matunga Principal, Father Bernard Fernandes, and administrator, Father Roy Noronha - proposed the vote of thanks.

A star-studded team - comprising former Olympians - then took centre stage for an exhibition match against the past and present students of the school. With hockey legends Joaquim Carvalho, M Somaya, and Marcellus Gomes in attendance on the dais, the match kicked off with the dramatic countdown from the crowd.

The spectators were treated to some stick wizardry by the hockey stalwarts. Walmiki and Pimpale showed off their athleticism and wowed the crowd.

Moses, an ex-student, starred for Team Bosco as the home team looked to break the ice. Mihir Patil and Faizuddin were among the goal scorers for the Bosco team.

Dhanraj Pillay, the former captain of the Indian National Hockey team and Padma Shree recipient, regaled the spectators with a few tricks and also managed to perplex the Boscoites. Experience triumphed as the men in blue won the pulsating encounter 5-3.

It was a historic moment in the annals of the school's sporting history and a dream come true for hockey aficionados to rub shoulders with hockey giants.


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