Bangalore: Jude Felix Hockey Academy for Under-Privileged Kids
Pics: Jessie Rodrigues & KPN
Bangalore, Jan 4: In a rare blend of sport and philanthropy, former Indian hockey captain Jude Felix announced the launch of an academy that will help under-privileged children.
After its formal inauguration on Saturday, the Jude Felix Hockey Academy in association with the St. Mary’s Orphanage in Cooke Town, will help 60 children pick up the rudiments of India’s national sport.
“It has been a long-time dream to help under-privileged and now is the time for it. There are 182 children at the orphanage and we plan to train children in three age-groups of 8, 10 and 12 in batches of twenty each. “There will be four coaches and I will monitor the progress closely,” said Jude at a press conference here on Friday.
Jude said that the academy is still searching for funds. “I am grateful to the Lions Club officials who speeded up my dreams and helped me in setting up this academy and they have promised that they will help raise the funds and I hope corporates will chip in.
Sports Stars Rahul Dravid, Ashish Ballal, Jude Felix and Dhanraj Pillay at the inauguration of Jude Felix Hockey Academy
Rahul Dravid and Dhanraj Pillay
“I also thank priest Fr. John Anthony for all his support and for backing hockey. Our academy has got affiliation from the Karnataka State Hockey Association and in the future I hope that players from this academy go on to play for the state and country,” Jude said.
Meanwhile the Lions Club officials reiterated their commitment to the academy which will swing into action on Saturday evening with a friendly hockey match in which many former International players will participate.
Former India cricket captain Rahul Dravid is also expected to play the match.
Former India hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay and Tony Fernandes, who has instituted a scholarship in his name for the academy, will be the guests of honour during the inauguration while Fr. John Anthony will be the chief guest.
“We now have a decent play field but gradually we are dreaming about having an astro-turf,” said Jude.