Hockey: Golden Oldies mesmerise with their stick skills

(caption for the above picture: Dharmesh Budhia, President of CISC, calling for all communities to be a part of the activities of the Club)

- the biennial tournament which returned to the City after 2004 saw 28 teams from eight different cities participating; oldest player was 87 years old!

Organised by the Christchurch Indian Sports Club (CISC) – a member of the New Zealand Indian Sports Association (NZISA) – the 2-day event held over the Labour Weekend was attended by over 500 people. Apart from a social evening, the event also comprised of a morning round of golf.

 Golden Oldies showcasing their skills in Christchurch during the Labour weekend
 Golden Oldies shocasing their skills in Christchurch during the Labour weekend

Ashok Ganda, a member of CISC and one of the main organisers informed, “NZISA is a network of eight member clubs - Christchurch, Wellington, Central Districts, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Pukekohe, Auckland and North Harbour. And this tournament rotates among these clubs. We got our chance this time after a long-break due to the earthquakes. While hockey is the main sport, our member clubs also organise netball, cricket and golf tournaments.”

Dharmesh Budhia, President of CISC added, “Apart from the community getting together, we also had support from the Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Hockey, and the Mainland Foundation this time around. While competitive nature of playing any sport is always there, Golden Oldies is more geared towards socialising, catching-up with old friends, and reliving the camaraderie.”

The history of the biennial tournament dates back to 1987 when interested hockey players who could no longer play in the more competitive NZSIA Queens Birthday Indian Hockey Tournament decided to have some fun while remaining active.

Pama, Manu and Joe, who were in Christchurch this time, and were also part of the think-tank in 87, noted, “We set the age limit for the Golden Oldies at 40 years and above. Now we organise the tournament in four different categories. Over 60, over 40 – both competitive and social, and social ladies. This year our oldest participant is 87-years-old.”

While the tournament got competitive at times, the matches were more social in nature. 'You alright mate!'

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