Last month, Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi fought all opposition in parts of the Punjab Congress after his appointment as Punjab CM. On Saturday morning, the 58-year-old took on the role of goalkeeper to thwart attacks from former Indian hockey player Prabhjot Singh and also sought advice from former Indian hockey goalie Baljit Singh Dadhwal during of a 45 minute long workout. during a visit to the Mohali International Hockey Stadium.
Channi, who had played handball at the college and university level in addition to representing the University of Punjab at the national level during his college years, also spent time with the hockey trainees in addition to going through a lengthy training session. 45 minutes with Prabhjot and Baljit, earning praise from Baljit, who was once ranked fourth among the world’s best goalkeepers.
“Punjab CM Charanjit Channi paji came to the International Hockey Academy today morning. After spending some time with the hockey trainees, he asked us to let him try the goalie. We knew he was a very good handball player during his college days and that he plays the sport sometimes even now. The first challenge was to get him to wear the bulky goalie kit but once he got used to the kit he liked the goalie. He asked me about a lot of technical details, such as the scoring angles of the drag flicker goals, as well as how to handle the aerial ball. His hand-eye coordination is very good and he showed it during the workout, ”Dadhwal shared in a conversation with The Indian Express.
While Channi has former Indian hockey captain Pargat Singh in his cabinet as state Minister of Sports and Education, MP Chamkaur Sahib had visited a sports academy for the first time since ‘he had taken over as Punjab CM. Besides the international hockey stadium, Mohali also sees the presence of the Punjab Institute of Sports, which has seen the emergence of many national and international medalists in recent years. Channi looked comfortable saving penalty corners from former Indian hockey player Prabhjot Singh.
Prabhjot, who had made more than 200 international appearances during his career in India, was also impressed with Channi’s quick reflexes. “At first I thought it would be easy for me to score goals against him. We knew he was a handball and volleyball player, but he told us he was the goalkeeper for the handball team. So it helped him during the training session. I took 20-25 penalty strokes and 20-25 hits and he almost saved the most. His left hand is very strong and he used it well to stop my punches. Seeing the Punjab CM practicing like this gives us hope that he will take action to improve the sport in the state and we wish him all the best, ”Prabhjot said.
The Mohali International Hockey Stadium has only hosted a few Hockey India League games and international hockey has not taken place in the stadium since it was built in 2012. Dadhwal was of the opinion that the Punjab government can support the organization of international hockey tournaments such as Orissa. . “Having such a stadium and not being able to see international hockey here is unfortunate for hockey fans. The Punjab is always in the lead for having the best hockey talent in the country and we saw it with 11 Punjab players in the Indian hockey team that won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. It will be good if the government of Punjab comes to support and host some international FIH events here, ”Dadhwal said.