The Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA), Odisha to groom hockey players of the state was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The hockey academy is 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.
The academy was inaugurated by the chief minister on Tuesday in the presence of T V Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel and Tusharkanti Behera, Odisha's Sports & Youth Services minister.
Behera said Bhubaneswar is fast emerging as the sports capital of India and with the establishment of NTHA Odisha, state's youth 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," he said.
NTHA Odisha will be operate from the existing infrastructure that was set-up to host the Odisha Men's Hockey World Cup in 2018 in Bhubaneswar.
Narendran said Tata Steel has always supported and encouraged sports as a vocation and a career. "It is always our effort to nurture sporting talent by providing access to state-of-the-art sports facilities and rigorous training. I am confident that the academy will enhance the efforts of the state to develop champions of the future," he said.
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, officials said.
The academy is named after Naval H Tata to commemorate his contribution to Hockey in India, his achievements as an outstanding sports administrator and passion for sports, the official added.
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