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Odisha Hockey Players Gear Up for Junior Men National Camp under TOPS Scheme

Bhubaneswar: Four promising hockey players from Odisha are set to showcase their talent at the Junior Men National Camp, courtesy of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), scheduled to be held at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility in Bengaluru from March 31st to May 31st.

Prashant Barla, Aakash Soreng, Rosan Kujur, and Ritik Kujur, who previously participated in a 20-day camp earlier this year, are poised to return to the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) for another stint. Ahead of their departure, Aakash Soreng, a key player from Odisha, shared his thoughts on the upcoming camp and his pride in representing his state under the prestigious TOPS scheme.

Expressing his delight at the opportunity, defender Aakash Soreng remarked, “I’m thrilled and honored to be part of the national camp. This opportunity means a lot to me and my family. It’s a chance for us to grow as players and enhance our skills. With many of India’s finest athletes being part of the TOPS scheme, I am determined to make the most of it and bring glory to my state.”

Reflecting on his journey, Soreng acknowledged the rigorous training regime at the national camp while crediting the robust hockey ecosystem in Odisha for his preparedness. “The training at the national camp is rigorous, and the coaching approach is highly technical. However, I am grateful for the solid foundation laid by the Sports Hostel in Panposh and the Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High-Performance Centre, which has equipped me well,” he remarked.

Highlighting the comprehensive training regimen in Odisha, which encompasses strength training, recovery, nutrition, and psychology, Soreng emphasized its pivotal role in maximizing his potential at the national camp.

Addressing the camaraderie among fellow players from Odisha, Soreng emphasized the importance of mutual support and encouragement in a new environment. “Having familiar faces from Odisha in the camp is reassuring. We rely on each other for support and motivation. However, I must mention that players from other states are equally supportive, fostering a positive environment,” he stated.

Looking ahead, the aspiring defender shared his aspirations of representing India on the international stage. “It has always been my dream to don the national colors and make my country proud. I am dedicated to working hard and achieving success for both India and my beloved state, Odisha,” Soreng concluded, brimming with determination and enthusiasm.

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