Vijayawada(Special Opinion)Hockey is a sport which has brought many laurels to our country at the international level. From Asian Championships to the Olympics we have lot of achievements to be proud of. I am happy to be here today among the players and managers of hockey who are carrying forward the good name associated with the sport and who are striving hard to keep the hopes alive for the present and future of the sport.The game of hockey has a long historical legacy, it is in fact millennia old. Hockey was known to the Egyptians Four Thousand years ago. And over a period of time it has reached to the nook and corner of the world in terms of its popularity and its coverage.Hockey was included as a competitive Sport in 1908 Olympic Games held in England. And since than it has become an integral part of the Olympic movement.After the establishment of the Indian Hockey Federation by British government in 1925 at Gwalior India has been dominating the World Hockey scene from the year 1928 onwards and the country won six Gold medals in a row – in the championships held in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Berlin, London, Helsinki and Melbourne.India again won the Gold medal at the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Similar achievements have been there in the Asian, Commonwealth and World Championships.Hockey is considered as de-facto National Game of India and the Govt. of India has recognized the national importance of the game of Hockey and bestowed the honour “Padma Vibhushan” to Major Dhyan Chand, known as a wizard of Hockey game. Major Dhyan Chand captained the Indian team and led the country to win the Gold medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He was also part of the Hockey team that won Gold medals twice for the country in the Olympic Games held previously.Government of India also announced 29th August, as the “National Sports Day” in honour of Major Dhyanchand, whose birthday falls on the same day.The state of Andhra Pradesh has been associated with hockey since the beginning of the 20th century. The history of Hockey game in Andhra Pradesh is traced back to 1905 when the British Judiciary officials started playing the game in Yelamanchili, followed by Madanapalle in the year 1916. The Hockey game soon caught up with sports enthusiasts and the game was started playing in Ananthapuram, Dharmavaram, Guntur, Nandyal, Visakhapatnam centers. Hockey Andhra Pradesh, assiduously striving, to improve the standards of hockey and making sincere attempts to spread Hockey in all corners of the State, systematically and regularly, by conducting Tournaments, at various levels like Senior / Junior / Sub junior, State Inter-District Hockey Tournaments for Men and Women, and organizing State residential coaching camps for all six State hockey teams, before State teams took part in the National Hockey Championships. As a result of these efforts, several promising players have come into the reckoning at National Level.However it is to note that Andhra Pradesh is in need of more ‘Modern Infrastructure’ like astro turfs, new Stadia, “Centers of Excellence” Hockey Academies. There appears to be not a single Astro Turf in the whole state for the players to practice. Odisha, the neighboring State has around Eight Modern Turf Hockey Pitches and Ten Hockey Academies and is a leading hockey playing and promoting State. As a Governor of this state I will definitely try to persuade the government to create sufficient infrastructure in the State to enable the enthusiasts and players of hockey to improve their game and become competitive at the National and International level.I am happy to learn that to encourage the sports fraternity and to broaden and enlighten the concept of the game of Hockey in Andhra Pradesh, the “State Hockey Annual Awards” has been instituted from this year, which is a welcome gesture.I hope Andhra Pradesh will catch up with other states make an impact in the game of Hockey at the National level, very soon. I wish Hockey Andhra Pradesh and the players of hockey the very best for the future of the game and I hope they will bring more laurels to this state and to themselves expressed AP Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan. Participating as Chief Guest Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan at the 5th Hockey Andhra Pradesh Annual Anniversary & State Level Hockey Awards Celebrations at 4.55PM on 3rd November, 2019 at Beckman Auditorium, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur,said his views for development of national sports in his state and awarded some hockey players.In this Celebration AP Hockey Team President Shri Mukesh Kumar Meena IAS presided over the meeting.Gunturu District Collector Shri I.Samual Ananda Kumar IAS, Acharya Nagarjuna University Vice Chancellor Prof.Koona Ramji, Gunturu Joint Collector & ADM Shri A.S.Dinesh Kumar IAS, Acharya Nagarjuna University Registrar Shri I.Rosaiah, AP Hockey Team Director Shri M.Niranjan Reddy, ‘Dhyanchand’ Awardee & Asian Games Gold Medalist Double Champion Smt Satti Geetha were participated as Guest of Honour in the function.