February 07, 2018

Tata Steel, along with Hockey Australia, organise 2-day hockey tournament at Gomardih, Odisha

Australian touch to home-grown hockey in Odisha

Gomardih: Tata Steel, in association with coaches of Hockey Australia, the governing body of hockey in Australia, organised 2-day long mega hockey programme at Gomardih, in Kutra block of Sundergarh district in Odisha. 

Under the guidance of James Liggins, Thomas Eric Winter and Ivy Whelan of Hockey Australia, the hockey events were organised and more than 400 tribal players took part in the event.

An inter-village hockey tournament for senior players was organised on February 6, 2018, as part of this two-day mega hockey programme where 10 teams of nearby village of Kutra and Rajgangpur blocks participated. 

Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS), Gomardih unit, has been running 10 training centres in nearby villages. 300 players, 30 each from the centres including 150 girls between 7 to 12 years of age, attended a screening camp held on February 5, 2018. Selected players participated in a tournament held on the day and the winners were felicitated.

Mangala Kisan, MLA, Rajagangpur, joined as the chief guest for the tournament for Under-12 children and awarded the winners. Commending Tata Steel for the initiative, Mr Kisan opined that such programmes would encourage the children to take up hockey as a profession and help them to be part of state and national hockey teams, in keeping with the tradition of the district.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambika Nanda, head, CSR, Tata Steel, Odisha, informed that Tata Steel intended to facilitate the linking of a selected few students to hockey academies for their professional growth.

Tata Steel, in association with Hockey Australia, has been conducting grassroots hockey development programme — Hooking 2 Hockey — among school children around Gomardih, where the steel major has a dolomite quarry, since 2016. The objective of the programme is to train and give a platform to the rural hockey talents to showcase their sporting skills.

Players and coaches, trained by Hockey Australia, of all the 10 hockey coaching centres from nearby panchayats like Tunmura, Kutnia, Jharbeda, Pochra, etc. of Kutra and Rajgangpur blocks of the district had participated in the tournament. 

Expressing his happiness with the skill development of the participants since the last three years, Mr Liggins, the hockey coach from Hockey Australia, said the children had a bright future in the game, if they kept practicing under the guidance of their coaches.

Captain Amitabh, head, skill development, Tata Steel; Sanjay Sardar, unit head, TSRDS; staff of the Tata Steel schools teachers; officers of Tata Steel, and local villagers were present on the occasion.