In an effort to help promote one of the sports that does not get much attention within the mainstream media, a clinic held by a two-time Olympian was put on at MC Knoll Elementary School in Yorkton recently.
Ramon Grewal, who participated in the Olympic Games in both Atlanta and Sydney, was on-hand at the Yorkton school in hopes of bringing some attention to the sport of field hockey amongst both sexes.
Grewal told Yorkton This Week that the clinic he put on was the first of a handful he said he was hoping to do within the city, and suggested that there may be more coming up in the spring, likely at the Gallagher Centre Flexihall.
The MC Knoll clinic featured two sessions, aimed at helping kids in Gr. 6 learn the fundamentals of the sport which Grewal said mixes ice hockey, soccer and basketball.
He also made the interesting point of noting that one of the reasons he came to Yorkton that day was because he's trying to promote field hockey as far away from Regina as possible.
Mark Schendel, teacher/activity-co-ordinator at MC Knoll, seemed very enthusiastic to be able to say that the school is likely the first to be able to boast having a two-time Olympian in their building.
"The GSSD (Good Spirit School Division) really takes pride in this," he said. "We're thrilled with the rapport."
Grewal was also the team captain of the Team India national field hockey team and has spent time as a team coach as well.
He said it was part of his plan to help motivate young elementary school students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to learn the game.
"I wanted to come to a place where I can really develop the sport," says Grewal.
Those places have so far included Saskatoon, Tisdale. Other Yorkton schools were supposed to include Columbia School, Grewal said, but the main thing was the "need to go outside of Regina and develop the sport".
"Very few kids know about field hockey," he added.
He hinted that the game isn't easy to learn but MC Knoll students show little problem learning it, he observed.
"I have seen some talent here," he said with a smile. "It takes some skill to play field hockey," he noted, pointing to the similarities it shares with other sports such as basketball, soccer and of course, ice hockey.
On a global scale, Grewal said that several countries are at the top in terms of field hockey superiority; among them are: Australia, Germany, Spain, England, India, Pakistan and Holland.