R R Patil promises unstinting support to popularise hockey

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Mumbai, May 27 (UNI) A top party leader of Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has decided to promote the national game -- hockey -- in the state, thereby giving a proper reply to all those who continued criticising the NCP boss of being engrossed in cricket at the cost of other sports.

Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil has come out with his unstinted support to popularising the national game and to lend a helping hand to encourage budding talent in rural hinterland.

Hockey ace Dhanraj Pillay who called on Mr Patil at Mantralaya said that he was amazed by the support shown by Deputy Chief Minister for promoting the game.

''Mr Patil, who also hold the Home portfolio assured us with all help and his full participation in our activities,'' Pillay, whose Dhanraj Pillay Hockey Academy is currently organising a training camp for children at Bombay Hockey Association astro-turf in south Mumbai, said.

''The patronage of such a big government functionary will help us take hockey to rural areas of Maharashtra,'' Pillay added. His Academy is planning to organise hockey events in various parts of western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha region.

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