Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha inaugurated a high-performance hockey centre named Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA) to groom the sports talent in the state.
Patnaik expressed that this newly opened centre will produce young Olympians.
“I am glad that the high-performance centre for Hockey has been inaugurated here, I hope the centre will produce young Olympians,” Patnaik said.
Tata Steel CEO and MD, T.V. Narendran, was also present during the inauguration and said that the company always encourage new sporting talents.
“Tata Steel has always supported and encouraged sports as a vocation and a career. It is always our effort to nurture sporting talent by providing access to state-of-the-art sports facilities and rigorous training. Tata Steel has a significant connect with youth at the grass-root level through various programmes. I am confident that the academy will enhance the efforts of the State to develop champions of the future.”
About 10-20 grassroots centres will be initially established in Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts and the talent scouted from the grassroots centres will be recommended for admission into the sports hostels.
The continuous flow will be ensured by grassroots centres and the RDCs. The government will help develop infrastructure in these regions to improve the quality of hockey players being fed into the RDCs and Naval Tata Hockey Academy Odisha. The young players from the community will be trained and provided with career opportunities as trainers and coordinators in these centres.
Naval Tata Hockey Academy of Odisha will be operated from the existing infrastructure that was set-up to host the Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2018 in Bhubaneshwar.
Moreover, Bovelander Hockey Academy from the Netherlands, founded by the European Champion, World Champion and three-time Olympian, Floris Jan Bovelander will be the technical partner in the programme.