The fear of being overrun is always there, given the mushrooming of cricket and football academies in the Capital. But a few enthusiasts from Odisha are keeping the game of hockey alive.
Bonny Minz migrated to Delhi from the tribal region of Sundargarh a decade ago in search of livelihood. He was into part-time jobs to support the family before finding regular employment.
The hardships though didn’t diminish Minz’s desire to spend the weekends playing hockey.
He wields the hockey stick in a DDA park in Mayur Vihar every Sunday, as the Mayur Club, made up of migrants like him, practice in worn-out jerseys with an equally old ball.
Born in early 2000, the club now has over 30 members, and irrespective of the weather, members make it a point to spend Sunday on the playfield.
Minz, 30, who joined the club in 2012, says he wants his four-year-old son to take up hockey. “Due to family problems I had to quit hockey in school. Things are better now. I have enough to support my child,” he says.
Hockey was to be a vehicle for Minz and friends to land a good job. Opportunities through the sports quota are few and their background makes it tougher. Minz may have failed to make it, but he has hope for his son.