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Odisha sets up 22 new training centres for grassroot development of hockey

Bhubaneswar: With an aim to boost hockey and nurture a large spectrum of hockey talent in the state, Odisha has set up 22 new Hockey Training Centres (HTCs) for Grassroots Development. The HTCs have been set up by the Sports and Youth Services Department (DSYS) in partnership with Odisha Naval Tata Hockey HPC to provide early exposure to young talents of playing on synthetic turfs.

The list of active turfs includes Sundargarh (Bonoi, Tangarpalli, Bargaon, Bisra, Lahunipada, Lathikata, Lephripada, Subdega, Balisankara – Tileikani, Balisankara – Sonamara, Nuagaon, Kutra, Gurundia, Kuarmunda, Kukuda), Jajpur (Jajpur town), Sambalpur (Jujumura), and Ganjam (Chattrapur). Four more centres are also set to be operational soon.

Currently, 18 centres are operational and have about 1300 kids who are training on the synthetic turfs. Each HTC has two coaches engaged in this development program.

The HTCs have deployed well-trained coaches who are experts in grassroot development and have undergone training with David John, Director of Hockey for Odisha. DSYS, along with Odisha Naval Tata High Performance Centre have been pivotal in training local junior coaches to train young champions from various districts of Odisha.

David John, Director of Hockey for Odisha, stated that in the next few months, when all the centres will be operational, club level championships will be conducted every weekend. “Such championships are quite active in countries like the US, Australia, and the UK, and have been successful in engaging talents and here too at the HTCs kids will benefit from this initiative,” shared David.

Rajiv Seth, the Project Director of the Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High-Performance Centre, said , “The ONTHHPC will provide coaches and processes at Hockey Training Centres (HTCs) across Odisha to expose young children to synthetic turf from an early age and facilitate their smooth transition to higher-level hockey.”

“The HPC has created a coaching education pathway for all its grassroots coaches and support them with several workshops and exposure tours. The HTC initiative showcases the HPC’s dedication to advancing the sport and cultivating budding hockey players,” he added.

DSYS is engaging schools, communities, and district zilla parishads for maximum participation. The team is also inviting schools in urban areas to engage their teams for hockey training and development. The objective is to ensure the HTCs are functional and are very well utilised by the local kids from the nearby vicinity.

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