Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre (HPC), set-up in Bhubaneswar with a vision to groom the upcoming sporting talent in hockey and produce world-class sportspersons, has commenced its boys’ resident program at the Kalinga Hockey Complex.
A total of 31 cadets have been selected for the program. These players, in the age group of U-17 years, have been chosen from the two-week long selection camp that was held from 17 November to 1 December 2020 in Bhubaneswar and was attended by 100 cadets.
While 21 players are from Odisha, seven are from Manipur, two from Uttar Pradesh and one from Assam.
The Hockey HPC has also created a standby list of 8 (5 from Odisha) talented players. The HPC has also recommended some players to sports hostels run by the Department of Sports & Youth Services, Govt. of Odisha, in Panposh and Sundargarh.
These hostels are also Regional Development Centres and serve as a stepping stone to the Odisha Naval Tata Hockey HPC.
The formal inauguration was held today at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, and was attended by the Chief Guest Tusharkanti Behera, Minister of Sports & Youth Services, Electronics and IT along with Vishal Kumar Dev, Principal Secretary, Sports & Youth Services and Tourism, Padma Shri Dillip Tirkey, Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President Corporate Services, Tata Steel, and Chairman, Hockey Ace Foundation (HAF) and Goutam Mukherjee, CEO, HAF.
On the occasion, two grassroots centres, in Dhenkanal and Deogarh, were also launched, thus taking the tally of grassroots centres to 12 with deployment of 25 coaches including a lady coach recruited to promote women coaches in the grassroots as well. The footfall at these two centres should increase the overall tally to about 2500 young trainees (Boys & Girls) reached through the grassroots initiative as on date.
The HPC will add few more boys and girls to their existing vacancies post April 2021 for which another set of trials will be planned. At present, 30 girls from Odisha, Jharkhand, Assam, Punjab, Manipur, and Uttar Pradesh are being given education under the Resident Program.
Earlier, the selection for the boys’ resident program was undertaken by HPC’s Technical Director Warner Ven Der’Vegt (also the Technical Director of Bovelander Hockey Academy & Hockey Ace Foundation) and P Lakshminarayan, Head Coach, Hockey HPC. Padma Shri Dillip Tirkey had also paid a visit during the final selection trials and gave his valuable inputs to coaches. Dutch legend and HPC’s technical partner Floris Bovelander was consulted and duly involved in the process of final selection though he could not be present due to international travel restrictions.
Hockey HPC has also recruited additional qualified coaching & support staff for Boys vertical to ensure dedicated attention to each cadet.
The Department of Sports & Youth Services extended all assistance in the successful execution of this massive exercise in these difficult times.