Odisha’s love story with hockey continues as the state will host the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup from November 24 to December 5 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The news was announced by the Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday.
A special event was organised for the upcoming tournament where Patnaik addressed the media. He said how Hockey India approached him and asked for support to host the Men’s Junior World Cup.
“It is a short notice for making arrangements for such an event, especially during the pandemic period. But since the country’s prestige is at stake, we readily agreed to support,” he said.
He is also hopeful that our junior India team will perform really well as they had won the last hockey World Cup, he said, “As a defending champion, I am sure that our team will emerge victorious again on home turf.”
He further added how hockey as a sport has a different space in the hearts of the people of Odisha. He also highlighted how players from Odisha have represented the country at the biggest events around the world.
“Over the last decade, we have been working closely with Hockey India for the development of hockey in the country. We have been sponsoring the national teams since 2018 and have hosted major tournaments, including the senior World Cup,” he said.
The Odisha government’s effort to popularise and develop hockey again as a mainstream sport in the country cannot be overlooked. Their efforts have been rewarded with the Indian men’s and Women’s teams performing at their level best in Tokyo.
He also added how the country awaits the 2023 Hockey World Cup which according to him will be a monumental event for the country’s growth and development in hockey.
“Odisha will continue to be a part of the journey of Indian hockey. We have rightly announced that Odisha will support the national hockey teams for another 10 years. We are also building India’s largest hockey stadium in Rourkela,” he informed.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also unveiled the new logo and the trophy for the Men’s Junior World Cup.