BHUBANESHWAR: The members of the hockey fraternity from different states of India came together for the National Hockey Conclave, held at the Eco-Retreat at Konark, Odisha on Tuesday.
The event was organized on the occasion of Odisha state hosting the much-awaited 2023 Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup, which will kick off on January 13th in Bhubaneshwar.
The National Hockey Conclave was attended by Dilip Tirkey, President of Hockey India; Odisha Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera; Bhola Nath Singh, Secretary General; Shrawon Kumar, Minister of Rural Development and Parliamentary Affairs (Bihar); former hockey legends with the likes of Zafar Iqbal, RP Singh, veteran coach Ajay Kumar Bansal, AB Subbaiah along with President and Secretaries of more than 15 Hockey State Associations.
The dignitaries and other officials were welcomed by the officials of the Sports Department and Puri District Administration. The Eco Retreat, a glamping festival at Ramchandi beach, provided a unique experience to the delegates.
At the engaging conclave, deliberation was held on various ways state associations can help each other in promoting the sport.
Several topics like the growing Indian Hockey ecosystem, specifically, the holistic development of Indian Hockey, including player performance, the importance of coaching, grassroots talent identification and various schemes, administration as well as staying abreast of global emerging trends, opportunities and challenges were discussed, a release said.
Former hockey players talked about their experience and their favourite memories from their playing careers. They also shed light on how the team take the game to even greater heights.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik welcomed the delegates through a video message.
“India is hosting the Hockey Men’s World Cup for the second consecutive time and like us in Odisha, I am sure, each one of you feels immensely proud to be a part of this prestigious tournament. The emotional connection that each one has for Hockey and the World Cup reflects in your participation in this National Hockey Conclave,” he said.
“Today, our National Teams are ranked amongst the best. The Bronze at the Tokyo Olympics has proved that the glorious days of Hockey are back and we all can unite in our efforts and initiatives to take Indian Hockey to global heights. This National Hockey Conclave and the Hockey World Cup are platforms to bring great ideas together. I hope you have a pleasant stay at the Conclave, be a part of our Hockey World Cup Celebrations and enjoy the matches in Rourkela, he added.
Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera, expressed his gratitude to Dilip Tirkey for spearheading the cause of Indian Hockey and commended the coordinated efforts of Hockey India and the state federations that have worked tirelessly in the last few years.
“One of the key facets of the Conclave was player development from a young age. We discussed grassroots development so that we can nurture athletes from a young age and build a good temperament in them so they can perform nationally and internationally as well. I am looking forward to the upcoming World Cup. It would have not been possible without the leadership of Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik. The Birsa Munda Stadium is something we should all be proud of, and I’m sure all the fans will enjoy not only the game but also the wonderful culture of Odisha. This World Cup will leave an indelible mark on all,” stated the Sports Minister.
Dilip Tirkey, President of Hockey India lauded the efforts to organize this National Conclave.
“This is a great opportunity for us to come together, reflect on the progress we have made so far and to articulate the vision for the way forward. It is nice to see us all gather before the World Cup. All the progress we have made would not be possible without the support of the National Government, the Odisha Government and all the various member states,” said Tirkey.
While the World Cup kicks off on January 13, the World cup celebrations are going to be held in Cuttack on January 11. A night of entertainment has been lined up with the renowned Ranveer Singh, Pritam, and Disha Patani amongst others who will be performing at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. (ANI)