Naval Tata Hockey Academy inaugurated in Bhubaneswar
Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik inaugurated Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA), a high-performance centre for hockey at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha for grooming best hockey talent in State. Academy is named in honour of Naval H. Tata to commemorate his contribution to hockey in India as well as his achievements as a sports administrator.
The academy was opened as part of three-pronged Tata Odisha Hockey Programme, a joint initiative of Tata Steel, Tata Trusts and Government of Odisha to nurture sports talent in State. As per Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), State Government of Odhisha will facilitate infrastructural support and Tata Trust will provide coaching and technical support.
Currently, 24 junior girls including 18 from Odisha have been identified to join High-Performance Centre (HPC). HPC will accommodate another 6 girls to complete 1st batch and will also add 30 boys in coming years.
Initially Tata Trust conducted a talent scouting program in Bhubaneswar, Sundargarh, Deogarh and Dhenkanal in Odisha and Simdega district in Jharkhand. Around 350 talents were shortlisted, out of whom 24 have been enrolled in HPC.
State government sports hostels in Bhubaneshwar, Rourkela and Sundargarh will become Regional Development Centres (RDCs) and experts engaged by Tata Trusts and Tata Steel will work with these RDCs to further enhance their efficiency and excellence.
Initially 10 to 12 grassroots centres will also be established in Sundargarh and Sambalpur districts and then talents explored from these grassroots centres will be recommended for admission into sports hostels.
The Grassroots centres and RDCs will ensure a continuous flow of talent into NTHA and government will help develop infrastructure in these regions to improve quality of hockey players being fed into RDCs and NTHA.
Why Bhubaneswar? Bhubaneswar is fast emerging as sports capital of India. Therefore with establishment of NTHA, youth from State will get best-in-class training on artificial turf from an early age which will enable players to compete on par with their international counterparts.
Dual benefit of promoting sports: It raises standard of Indian sports as well as promoting livelihood opportunities among those living in underdeveloped regions of country.