BHUBANESWAR: The Nalco Bhubaneswar School Hockey Tournament organised by The New Indian Express (TNIE) will be turned into a state-level tournament from next year.Buoyed by the success and grand response to the first ever inter-school hockey tournament in the Capital city, the Central PSU has expressed willingness to join hands with TNIE and make the event a State-level competition from next year.
The objective is to provide a platform for school hockey teams in the districts to showcase their talents and also further promote the game at the hinterlands. The features of the competition will be decided at a later stage. The move has generated great excitement among hockey circles. “This will give a huge boost to hockey at the grassroots. The state-level inter-school hockey will not only develop interest in the game among youngsters but also will help discover talents which might have laid hidden for want of exposure”, secretary of Hockey Gangpur Odisha, Debasish Gouda said.
Olympian Lazarus Barla welcomed the possibility of the state-level competition from next year. “This kind of initiative was a much-needed one. The patronage of leading corporate Nalco and The New Indian Express will help expand the game to the non-playing districts and encourage the young ones to take up the sport. It will also give a tremendous boost to the efforts of developing hockey culture in the state”, he said.
The 1st Nalco Bhubaneswar School Hockey Tournament, featuring four teams from Twin City, was won by Giridhari Jew Vidyamandir of Cuttack on Sunday.