CM Launches Hockey Academy 18 Odia Girls In First Batch

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday inaugurated the Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA), providing a welcome boost to the budding hockey players in the state. The high-performance centre located at the Kalinga Stadium, is a joint initiative of the state government, Tata Steel, and Tata Trusts.

After a rigorous selection process stretching for six months, the academy has selected 24 girls including 18 from Odisha in the age-group of 12 to 17 years in its first batch. In the future, more intake will take place including a mix of men and women.

The responsibility of maintaining the infrastructure will be taken up by the government, while Tata will take care of hiring the best support staff including international coaches, technical experts, nutritionist as well as mental and physical trainers.

“Tata Steel has always supported and encouraged sports as a vocation and a career. It has always been our effort to nurture sporting talent by providing access to state-of-the-art sports facilities and through rigorous training. Tata Steel has a significant connection with youth at the grass-roots level through various programmes. I am confident that the academy will enhance the efforts of the state to develop champions of the future,” said TV Narendran, Global CEO and Managing Director of Tata Steel.

The academy has established a tie-up with Netherlands-based Bovelander Hockey Academy, founded by Dutch hockey legend Floris Jan Bovelander. The Dutch academy specialises in youth hockey development and high-performance coaching.
“My goal is to make sure all players in the programme develop essential hockey skills. We will surely see some players from this academy reaching the national team and winning accolades for the state and country”, said Bovelander, who was present at the launch.

As an extension of the program, state-owned sports hostels in Bhubaneswar, Sundargarh, and Rourkela will become regional development centres and experts from Tata would nurture the budding talents there. Also, multiple centres will be established in Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts through which talent scouting will take place. These initiatives would help in recognizing talent from the neglected parts as well as make the selection process more efficient.

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