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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 1, No. 14 July 6, 1938

Indians at Hockey — Why They Excel

Indians at Hockey

Why They Excel

Professor Jagan Nath, manager of the Indian hockey team at present in New Zealand, advanced three reasons when asked by "Salient" why indians excel at hockey.

"In the first place," said the Professor, "the climate of India enables hockey to be played for practically the whole year around. Secondly, Indians start playing the game when they go to school, receiving a thorough grounding in elementary principles from competent coaches. And, thirdly, they specialize, many playing hockey to the complete exclusion of other games."

The Professor is one of the most colorful figures to visit New Zealand in the capacity of manager of a touring team. He teaches at one of the fifty-four colleges that constitute the University of the Punjaub, his particular college being in Lahore, capital of the province. He has already given several talks over the air from New Zealand stations. Local hockey umpires who watched the Indians in action at the basin Reserve probably learnt something in the way of interpreting the rules from him, for he was one of the two men in charge of that game and is to officiate in all the games played by his team in the Dominion. An umpire of international standing, he has Olympic Games experience behind him and is acknowledged to be the leading man with the whistle in India.

"After the Indians, what nation has the highest standard of hockey, judging on form shown at the last Olympic Games?" asked "Salient."

"The Germans come next," Jagan Nath replied; "then the Dutch. The Germans have made [unclear: g progress.] Since the war, and particularly since the beginning of the Hitler regime, they have largely given up their old methods of physical training by means of gymnastics, and have turned their attention to such games as Soccer and hockey. To the mastering of games they are now bringing the same degree of dogged determination and persistency that have made them great in other spheres."

The Professor is a busy man, but "Salient" just had time to put a question about co-education in India.

"Co-education" Yes, it has been started at some Indian Universities, particularly in the more progressive towns like Calcutta and Bombay. There are in fact, a few women's colleges, although, generally speaking, parents consider that better education is obtainable at the colleges that are open to both men and women, like yours. But there are comparatively few women students. At my College in Lahore there are only 35 girls on the roll of 1300 students."

That afternoon "Salient" watched the Professor's invincible Indians trounce Wellington by 12 goals to nil. Three seemed to be an insufficient number of reasons to account for their superiority.