Since its inception, Mari petroleum’s hockey team has shown tremendous promise in the game. Their most recent victory was at the Chief Minister Punjab Gold Cup Hockey Tournament. This was played at Gojra from January 31st to February 07th, 2020, where the Mari team scored a sweet win over the long-time champion Pakistan Army hockey team in the finals.
According to Brigadier Saleem Nawaz, ex-Director General for Army Sports, mentioned that MPCL had initiated its Hockey Team as an incentive to motivate domestic hockey to greater heights. And staying true to their motive, MPCL has been maintaining their support for the game and its young players through financial and logistical means.
To promote the national sport of Pakistan and provide a state-of-the-art facility to practice the game, an international standard Astroturf Stadium has been established at Ayub National Park in Rawalpindi. This Astroturf Stadium is a joint venture of Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) & Army Heritage Foundation (AHF) and has been re-named as Mari Hockey Stadium.
The Mari Hockey Stadium has since gone under thorough upgrading of facilities, with a total investment of over Rs. 200 million! This initiative is expected to go a long way in promoting hockey in this region in particular and in the country in general.
As part of its CSR initiatives, Mari Petroleum has formed its own hockey team consisting of top ranked players of the Country with the aim to reinvigorate interest in the game of field hockey in Pakistan. The Company has hired the services of Mr. Muhammad Imran, ex-captain of Pakistan National Team to coach MPCL Team.
Importance of Artificial Turf
Hockey is a traditional sport that has been played on grass for around 160 years – first on natural grass and, since the 1970s, almost exclusively on artificial grass. The game of field hockey was originally brought to Pakistan during the British Raj, and like cricket, became popular among the local population. But what makes a good hockey field and what do clubs and planners have to consider when planning and building their own artificial turf fields?
Going into technicalities, the ball must be hit with the flat side of the hockey stick and a goal only counts if the ball was hit from the scoring circle. In addition, female hockey players must wear traditional short skirts. The first Olympic hockey tournament on artificial turf was held in 1976 in Montreal. Artificial turf and hockey have been inextricably linked ever since. Due to the more sophisticated technology and faster playing surfaces, today almost every hockey club features an irrigated artificial grass pitch.
However, Pakistan currently is not home to enough artificial turfs to do justice to the promotion of the national game. This is due to a joint lapse of scarce funds and decreased priority by enabled institutions. MPCL’s substantial investment in this regard is thus greatly appreciated. This is a huge commitment to their Corporate Social Responsibility which will facilitate young hockey players to practice their sport for years to come.
As keen sports enthusiasts and long-time hockey players, the top MPCL officials along with other mentors, have been previously involved in sponsoring budding players within the industry. MPCL’s efforts are expected to bring forth a much-needed revival for Pakistan’s national sport which has remained dormant for a while now.
MPCL has made huge strides since its inception in both its field of expertise and in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). What was once a partially inherited company supplying raw material for fertilizer production; is now committed to gas and petroleum exploration, production at globally competitive prices, and continues to harbor its age-old relations with various other industry leaders in the country. In 2012 the company changed its name from “Mari Gas Company Limited” to “Mari Petroleum Company Limited” in light of its expanded business operations and social efforts.
Such a commitment to uplift the national game is a commendable initiative. Hardcore organizations playing their part to empower the youth of their country go along way in making a social and philanthropic impact.