AN Indian firm Flash came to the rescue of our national hockey players a day before their first match of the Hero World Hockey League by providing them with much needed sporting gear including their tracksuits and uniforms.
While all the teams taking part in this tournament were training with proper clothing suitable for this cold weather, the Fijians who were very low on budget were making the most of their own personal thermal wear to help them in their training.
They did not have a team issued tracksuits.
National coach Hector Smith Sr said during a pre-match press conference in New Delhi they were committed to coming to play, they did not let their financial difficulties to come in the way.
But all that came to pass when this company that manufactures and exports hockey, cricket, soccer and plastic sports goods donated them not only their tracksuits but also their uniforms and other gear.
Flash Cameo Sports director Ankkur Oberoi said his company came to know of the Fiji team and their needs when one of his employees, Deepak Kumar, who was part of the Northern Punjab team that came to play in Fiji two years ago approached him.
"I'm glad that I'm able to be of help and hope they will enjoy using their gear," he said.
"One of my employees is the team's friend and it's through his connection that I became involved," said Oberoi.
Kumar known to everyone in the team as Fila said he knew of the struggles of his brothers and sisters from Fiji.
Smith Sr said the team was closely linked with the Northern Punjab side who helped them with their gear and would also be there to support them in their matches.
His sister Tai Smith, Fiji Hockey Federation development officer said they were very grateful to Flash and especially to Fila for stepping in just a few hours before their first matches.
"It's very humbling and we are very grateful because without them we wouldn't have any tracksuits and all these gear," she said.
Smith said this was just the beginning of the relationship with Flash and their connection with Northern Punjab would not end here.