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Odisha CM Inaugurates High-Performance ‘NTHA’ For Hockey, Hopes Young Olympians To Be Produced

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13 August 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: As part of a three-pronged approach to groom sports talent in the State, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today inaugurated the high-performance hockey centre Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA) here.  

NTHA is a joint initiative of Tata Steel, Tata Trusts and Government of Odisha to nurture hockey talent in the State into the future national and international players.

In his media reactions, the Chief Minister said, “I’m glad that the high-powered performance centre for hockey has been inaugurated today which is being sponsored by the Tatas. I hope young Olympians will be the products of this centre.”

The Academy was formally dedicated by the Odisha Chief Minister flanked by Sports & Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera and Tata Steel CEO & MD T.V. Narendran.

Odisha Sports & Youth Services Minister in his address said, "Bhubaneswar is fast emerging as the sports capital of India. With the establishment of NTHA, youth from the State will get the best-in-class training on artificial turf from an early age that will enable players to compete at par with their international counterparts. This initiative will also help in making high performance hockey coaches. Ultimately, this programme will increase the number of Odisha players in the national team representing India on the international stage."

Tata Steel CEO & MD T.V. Narendran said, “Tata Steel has always supported and encouraged Sports as vocation and career. It is always our effort to nurture sporting talent by providing access to state-of-the-art sports facilities and rigorous training. Tata Steel has a significant connect with youth of the grass root level through various programmes. I am confident that the academy will enhance the efforts of the State to develop champions of the future.”

As per a press note released on the occasion, this elite hockey academy has been opened in Bhubaneswar as part of the three-pronged Tata Odisha Hockey Programme, a joint initiative of Tata Steel, Tata Trusts and Government of Odisha to nurture sports talent in the State, which is already being hailed as a cradle for the sport.

The State Government sports hostels in Bhubaneswar, Sundargarh, and Rourkela will become the Regional Development Centres (RDCs), where experts engaged by Tata Trusts and Tata Steel will work with the RDCs to further enhance their efficiency and excellence.

10-20 grassroots centers will initially be established in Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts.

The talent scouted from the grassroots centers will be recommended for admission into the sports hostels. The grassroots centers and the RDCs will ensure continuous flow of talent into NTHA. The State Government will help develop infrastructure in these regions to improve the quality of hockey players being fed into the RDCs and NTHA.

Young players from the community, who are enthusiastic and willing to work with children, will be trained and provided with career opportunities as trainers and coordinators in these centres.

NTHA Odisha will be operated from the existing infrastructure that was set up to host the Odisha Men's Hockey World Cup in 2018 in Bhubaneswar. Access to the Abhinav Bindra Target Performance Centre here will provide the best sports medicine support to improve the performance of the players, the press note stated.

Prominent among others, Odisha Sports & Youth Services Director Vineel Krishna, Tata Steel Vice president (Corporate Services) Chanakya Chaudhary and Tata Trusts Senior Advisor Burzis Taraporevala also graced the special occasion.

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Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Odisha

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Tusharkanti Behera, Minister, Sports & Youth Services, Odisha