Hockey India and Sports Authority of India on Thursday announced the establishment of the High Performance Hockey Centres (HPHC) in seven different locations across India.
The centres will be established with an aim to produce positive outcomes for field hockey at the 2024 and 2028 editions of the Olympic Games.
All these seven centres will be set-up under the Khelo India scheme and will adhere to the expert professional training, utilisation of sports science, and education of the young athletes, who will be enrolled into these Zonal High Performance Hockey Centers.
While the National Hockey Academy at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, SAI Sundergarh, Odisha, SAI UDMCC, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh and SAI, Bengaluru will be active within the next 3 months, the remaining three centres will be developed over the next 12 months.
SAI's Director General Sandip Pradhan said they want to ensure that talented youngsters are provided with top quality facilities.
"The Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and SAI launched the Khelo India Youth Games as well as the Khelo India University Games with a vision to create a robust system that will help identify potential athletes who can be trained for the Olympics," Hockey India's official website quoted Pradhan as saying.
"With the launch of High Performance Hockey Centres across different zones in the country, we want to ensure talented youngsters are provided with top quality facilities that will equip them to achieve success at the 2024 and 2028 Olympic Games. These High Performance Centres will have a well-rounded system with special focus on scientifically advanced training which will also include mental training for young athletes," he added.
The existing SAI centres and Hockey Academies across India will serve as 'feeder' Centres to the new High Performance Hockey Centres, which shall hold 72 Men and 72 Women hockey players at each location.
This move will also help Hockey India in identifying young talent, and nurturing them into world-beaters with the help of coaches, support staff, rehabilitation, and sports science services.
Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said they can build a large pool of players in the junior and sub-junior categories.
"In the recent years, Hockey India has launched visionary programmes such as the Hockey India Coaches Education Pathway which will help create the right structure at the grassroots level," Ahmad said.
"With the High Performance HockeyCentres, we believe we can build a large pool of players in the junior and sub junior categories who can not only graduate to the senior programme but can also push to achieve success at prestigious events like the Youth Olympic Games and Junior World Cup, Junior Asia Cup among other events. These centres will ensure scientifically advanced training which will help athletes gear-up both mentally and physically in order to match-up international standards," he added.
Former India Captain and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardee Sardar Singh also hailed the initiative saying that it will increase India's chances of winning the Olympic medal.
"This is a fantastic initiative by SAI and Hockey India. I believe the exposure and scientifically-driven training will only help increase our chances of winning an Olympic Medal. From what I have seen, players who come into the national programme would take time to get used to the system and training methods used to prepare the Indian National Team for major events," Singh said.
"But if this gap can be narrowed through the introduction of these High Performance Hockey Centres which will adopt similar training methods used at the National Coaching Camps then there will be an easy transition for these players when they get selected to the national programme or make the cut for India Camp. I believe this will definitely benefit the sport in the long-run and bring desired results at top international events," he added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)