By Susil Peremalal
After eight years a Sri Lankan Junior Women’s hockey team is taking part in an Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Women’s Junior Hockey Tournament.
The AHF Junior Women’s Hockey Tournament was inaugurated in 1992 and this is the eighth edition. Sri Lanka last took part in 2011 where they were the runners-up. The champions were Chinese Taipei.
Sri Lanka Hockey has taken a new turn recently. For the last three to four years due to administration problems the game has seen little development but new office-bearers have been appointed and it is clear that they are working towards a greater goal.
Local tournaments have commenced and the AHF Women’s Junior Tournament is the first international tournament to be undertaken. The AHF Junior Men’s tournament is scheduled for December in Hong Kong. Plans are afoot to send a team for this too according to P. Vishvanathan, President, Sri Lanka Hockey Federation.
This year the competition format will consist of six teams participating in the preliminary round.
The top two teams from this tournament will qualify for the Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2020 and will join the likes of China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand who are already qualified based on their results in the Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2015. Also, the Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2020 is a qualifier round for the Hockey Junior World Cup 2021.
The venue for all matches will be the Sengkang Hockey Stadium, Singapore which has two expansive turfs and seating capacity of 1,200 spectators.