Vidya's super Stokes

06 August,2010 07:31 AM IST |   |  A Correspondent

I'm a hockey fan first and then a politician, says new Hockey India president

I'm a hockey fan first and then a politician, says new Hockey India president

A hockey administrator and a politician, Vidya Stokes at 83 surprised many by beating former Olympian Pargat Singh in the Hockey India (HI) elections yesterday.

Maybe Pargat has a lesson to learn hereu00a0 ufffdu00a0 when it comes to the battle of the ballot, politicians are very hard to beat. Stokes was an active member of the Indian National Congress from 1970 and of the Pradesh Congress Committee since 1974.

Stokes said, "I was interested in hockey when I was not even in politics in the early 1960s. In sports federations, it's the experience and administrative capacity that matters."

Stokes was born at Kotgarh, District Shimla onu00a0 December 8 1927 and educated at Delhi University. She got married to Lal Chand Stokes,u00a0 a horticulturist andu00a0 social worker. Lal Chand is the son of noted social worker Satyananda Stokes. Satyananda was an American who settled in India. Lal Chand later became a pioneer in horticulture in Himachal Pradesh.

Stokes' nomination itself initially raised eyebrows and created a controversy because it was in violation of the age stipulation of 70 in the government guidelines.

Yet, she dismisses the 'too old' argument with, "I work harder than many others who may be younger to me."

"It's an opportunity for me to bring hockey back to its old glory. For this, we need to get more funds both for the game and the players," IANS reported Stokes as saying.

She is ready to tap resources like entrepreneurial houses for those funds, saying. "We have to mobilise big business houses and organisations to support the game," she said.

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Vidya Stokes Hockey India President