Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Saturday was spotted at a stadium in Mohali trying his hands at hockey as he put on the goalkeeper's kit and stopped fast-paced balls coming his way. "Channi sahab stopped the balls with ease," former Indian hockey goal-keeper Baljit Singh Dadhwal said and added that though the chief minister is 58 years old, his reflexes are still very good.
Mr Channi, who made a surprise visit to the international hockey stadium in Mohali, spent about an hour on the field and also met players. "At the university-level, I was a handball player. Felt great while playing with these young players at the hockey stadium today. These youngsters are the future of hockey and I am fascinated by their love for the game," Mr Channi said in a tweet.
He also posted some pictures on his Twitter handle, showing him in a goalkeeper's gear and standing with hockey players. Mr Dadhwal said it was a surprise visit of the chief minister to the stadium. "He met players there and looking at their enthusiasm, he told them that he will also try his hands at the game," he told PTI.
The goalkeeper's kit was arranged and Mr Channi stood at the goal post and asked young players to shoot the ball, he said. Former Indian hockey player Prabhjot Singh, hit the balls towards the goal post, Mr Dadhwal said. "Channi sahab stopped balls with ease," he said.
"His visit was a motivation to the young players as the chief minister met them and also practised the game with them," Mr Dadhwal said, adding that it was an unforgettable experience for them.
The chief minister spent about an hour at the practice session, he said. Mr Channi became Punjab chief minister last month after Amarinder Singh resigned amid a bitter power tussle with Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu.