Kalinganagar: In a momentous stride towards cultivating hockey talent at the grassroots level, the Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre opened its 31st Grassroot Centre at SSD High School, Gobarghati near Duburi under Jajpur district of Odisha on Tuesday. With the inauguration of this Centre, Jajpur has become the third district in the state to have more than one Grassroot Centre.
The inaugural event was graced by Rajiv Kumar, vice president, Tata Steel Kalinganagar (TSK) as chief guest along with Sudhir Kumar Mehta, MD & CEO, Neelachal Ispat Nigam Limited (NINL) as guest of honour. Among others present on the occasion were Debdoot Mohanty, chief, Corporate Services, TSK, Mukul Choudhari, chief, Sports, Tata Steel, Rajiv Seth, project director, Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre, Bhubaneswar and head, Sports (Odisha), Tata Steel, Rabindra Jamuda, president, Tata Steel Kalinganagar Workers’ Union (TSKWU) and Jayram Mahanta, vice president, TSKWU along with other senior officials of Tata Steel Kalinganagar, senior officials of NINL, officials of Tata Steel Foundation and officials of TSKWU.
Expressing his happiness on the inauguration of the new Grassroot Centre at Kalinganagar, Rajiv Kumar said, “We are proud to be a part of this wonderful initiative to promote hockey in the rural areas. The passion for hockey in Odisha among the youth, is unmatched. This Grassroot Centre will play an instrumental role in developing players to state, national and international standards by providing them proper training and enabling them to derive maximum benefits from it.”
In his address, Rajiv Seth said, “Our objective is to push as much talent as possible to the sports hostels of the State Govt and Hockey HPC in time to come so that we have the stars of tomorrow from the programme. We already have couple of direct entries from Grassroot centers to our HPC too.”
The Odisha Naval Tata Hockey HPC inaugurated in 2019 is a Odisha government initiative in partnership with Tata Steel and Tata Trusts. HPC has connect more than 3,500 young trainees in the age group of U17 in Girls and Boys Category with the assistance of 61 experienced home grown Grassroot coaches from Odisha in these 31 Grassroot centres across 13 districts in Odisha. The Grassroots Programme is maintaining a 60:40 gender ratio and are competing in invitational tournaments and bringing laurels for the state and ONTHHPC.