Ground Report | New Delhi: How Odisha is encouraging hockey; The Odisha government on Thursday announced a unique partnership with Hockey India. The Odisha government has signed an agreement with Hockey India as a sponsor for the next five years. Under this agreement, the Odisha government will sponsor India’s men’s and women’s hockey teams for the next five years. This was announced by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a grand ceremony on Thursday.
On this occasion, the Odisha government also released a new ‘logo’ as the sponsor of Hockey India. For the next five years, India’s women’s and men’s hockey teams will now wear this ‘logo’ on their jerseys. Hockey India and the government did not make any disclosure about the amount of the agreement between the Odisha government and Hockey India for five years.
How Odisha is encouraging hockey
The success story behind India’s performance in the field of hockey after a gap of more than four decades. But before we get into the details, you all must have noticed that Odisha is written in bold letters right on the front of the jersey of both men and women hockey players. So what is the relation of Indian hockey to the state of Odisha?
What does it mean?
The state has hosted major hockey tournaments in the last five years. It hosted the World Cup in 2018, the 2014 Champions Trophy, and the Hockey World League Final in 2017. Odisha is the host of the Men’s Hockey World Cup for the second time, which is to be played in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela in 2023.
In Rourkela, the Patnaik government is building the country’s largest hockey stadium with a seating capacity of 20,000 spectators, which will be named after tribal leader Birsa Munda.
How does this help?
IOA President Batra thanked the Odisha government and said, “I have been informed that a grand opening ceremony will be held a day before the Men’s Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar later this year. Bhubaneswar for me is the sports capital of the country. I request the Odisha government to set up a high-performance setter for elite athletes in the state. Veteran singer Sona Mohapatra from Odisha will also perform at the opening ceremony.
Former India Hockey Olympian and Captain Dilip Tirkey said, “Hockey is popular to the extent of passion in Odisha. Odisha has produced around ten hockey Olympians and more than 60-70 players have represented the Indian team at the international level. Even rural hockey tournaments see a large number of entries. Goat is given for winning in these rural tournaments and for that too every team puts all their efforts to win. Nobody wants to lose in hockey at the village level. I was surprised to see a 58-year-old man playing in a rural tournament.
The land of Odisha has given many national players along with many hockey Olympians to the country. This is the first time when a government will not only promote a sport within its limits but also help the hockey talent in India to blossom and flourish.
The hockey team was sponsored by Odisha; the state. We can possibly write an article on this.