September 22 2014 Latest news:
by Ajay Nair, Reporter
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
A 75-year-old hockey coach has been praised for his service to the sport in schools during an event at the Houses of Parliament.
Chandra “Channi” Arora, of Woodford Green, was invited to the awards presentation as one of the few coaches recognised for their work at the London Youth Games.
Mr Arora was part of a select group of London coaches invited to meet MP Tessa Jowell, winter Olympic ski racer Chemmy Alcott and Cllr Joyce Ryan at the t event.
The Team Redbridge hockey coach is the chairman of the Redbridge & Ilford Hockey Club and coaches children at Redbridge schools.
Mr Arora said: “I was shocked that the invitation came. I’m really happy that my work is appreciated – it’s always good to be recognised for your work.
“I feel very privileged and honoured to be invited and appreciated by the London Youth Games Foundation and especially by the Olympians who had previously represented the boroughs at the London Youth Games.”
Mr Arora’s work with the London Youth Games came about after he turned to coaching almost 15 years ago and noticed that there were not enough children from state schools representing Redbridge at the games.
Mr Arora’s work with borough schools led to him starting an initiative to encourage children from the south Asian community to play hockey as he feels that they are underrepresented within the sport in Redbridge.
The coach, who played as a semi-professional in India, added: “I’m happy when I go out and I see the children that I work with in the area – they always come and talk to me, they’ll say ‘hello coach’, and that makes it worthwhile.”