Hyderabad: Handball Federation of India (HFI) president A Jagan Mohan Rao chalked out big plans for the game and said that his ultimate goal is to see the Indian team competing in the Olympics.
The official from Telangana State disclosed that HFI has devised a few plans to popularise the game in the country. “That can happen only if we have a league and telecast it in prime time. So we worked hard to come up with the Premier Handball League. The league was supposed to kick off in June 2020 and in June 2021. But due to Covid-19 situation, the league was delayed.
“Now, we got permission from the Rajasthan government for the league. With IPL and ICC World Cups lined up next, we are waiting for a window for the league’s telecast. We are in touch with the broadcasters. We got a window in February 2022 and June 2022. We will finalise the dates in October,” he revealed. He also added that a women’s league will also be conducted with a gap of six months from the men’s league so that they will have year-long activities.
He further said that his initial part of the term is dedicated to popularising the game. “I want to see the game grow at least in 100 new places in the country by next year. And the other goal is to build indoor courts for the game. We will mobilise all stakeholders like corporate, SAI and league owners for this purpose. The third goal is to introduce the game in schools.
“The success of Indian teams at the Tokyo Olympics provided the perfect platform to kick off this project. The success of team game like hockey has inspired other team games. Parents are also keen to send their kids to the grounds now. We need to increase grounds and coaches now so that we can train more kids,” he added.
He also divulged plans to set up academies in the Telangana State as well. “Hyderabad was once the nerve centre of handball activities in the country. After becoming president, I shifted the head office to Hyderabad. We are requesting the government to allot office space at Gachibowli since we have a SAI centre there. SAI also promised an indoor stadium to the State. The Sports Minister V Srinivas Goud and secretary have promised 5 acres of land. We will mobilise funds to build a boys academy in Hyderabad. We also requested land in Warangal to set up a girls’ academy,” he concluded.
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