Odisha is one of the developing states of India nowadays. Its mineral resources, fairs and festivals, eccentric handlooms, classical dance, temple architecture, blue hills, rock caves, religions, and people have consistently drawn the attention of tourists, travelers, industrialists, and historians all over the world. In this list, a new word is entered named ‘Hockey. Now Odisha represents Indian Hockey internationally. Odisha is a key hub of producing great players in Indian Hockey. This is only possible due to the nonstop effort of Shri.Naveen Patnaik the renowned and scholarly Chief Minister of India.
This Tokyo Olympics is the memorable Olympics in the history of India. Our players are showing their tremendous skill that made every Indian feel proud. Both our Men’s and Women’s Hockey team played their best game in this mega event. Odisha’s contribution to Indian Hockey played a vital role in that India won Bronze Medal in Hockey. To achieve this prestigious medal, India took 41 years. Naveen Patnaik is also a big lover of Hockey as he played Hockey six decades ago at Doon school as a goalkeeper while he was a student. His interest turns to back support of Indian Hockey by investing money and resources in this national sport.
Odisha is a sponsor of the Indian Hockey team since 2018. Odisha signed for this sponsorship for a five years long period. While a big company like Sahara has withdrawn its sponsorship, Odisha is the only state of India that never left the hands of Indian Hockey teams. Odisha is also investing Rs.120 Cores for five years and has invested money for building infrastructure, logistical support, and all the expenses for both the teams-for training, education, and nurturing talent. While cricket is creating a massive impact on our Indians, and we always support our Indian cricket compared to hockey, Naveen Patnaik sees the glorious future in hockey, which makes him stand alone from others. Odisha’s sports minister has to conform about the increased budget around Rs.265 Crore to Rs.360 Crore this year for Hockey India.
Hockey is one of the favorite sport in Odisha. Sundargarh is the mother of Hockey in Odisha. Coincidently the two vice-captains of both men’s and women’s teams in the Tokyo Olympics are from Sundargarh district. The state is famous for producing the greatest player like Dilip Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey, Lazarus Barla, and Sunita Lakra. Hockey is common in most of the tribal areas in Odisha, where children learn to talk with hockey sticks. It is like a festival when the state team wins a medal in any competition. Poor children or adults who can not afford hockey sticks found an alternate solution by bending a Kendu branch or a bamboo shoot. The Odisha government planned and developed synthetic turf pitches for playing hockey. Also worked for posting good coaches for skills and technique, support every player and their family, which helps our players to represent our Indian Hockey on the international platform. In 2021, Odisha will spend Rs.190 Crore to build astroturf pitches in 17 blocks of Sundargarh district. The state-appointed many sports teachers in schools for primary-level screening.
Odisha sets an example by hosting the big games in the past five years, including the World Cup in 2018, the Champions Trophy in 2014, and the Hockey World League Final in 2017. Every national and international game hosted by Odisha is the best example that displays Odisha’s systematic handling of those gigantic events with ease.
Naveen Patnaik spending Rs.110 Crore to build the world’s biggest hockey stadium in the country with over 20,000 sitting capacity by 2023, named Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium located at Rourkela, Sundargarh district. The 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup is scheduled to be held in the stadium. Kalinga Stadium Bhubaneswar is another high-class stadium largely built with international standards to provide the best training to players. Mr.Patnaik also receives the eminent FIH President award for his contribution towards sports promotion, especially Hockey.The sports capital of India is always ready to host the event smoothly.
For the betterment of hockey, the Odisha government has team-up with Tata trust and Tata Steel to open high-performance centers across Odisha. The famous proverb “A friend in need is a friend indeed” suits Odisha and Mr.Naveen Patnaik for a rise in the popularity of Indian Hockey.