Bhubaneswar : The KIIT campus on Christmas Evening reverberated with Chak De! Chant and Bharat Mata Ki Jai as the prestigious trophy for the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 arrived at the University as part of its city tour. The trophy was ushered into the campus by the Founder of KIIT and KISS Dr Achyuta Samanta, MLA Susanta Kumar Rout, city Mayor Sulochana Das and Municipal Commissioner Vijay Kulange, among others.
The KIIT Cricket Stadium played host to the colourful welcome ceremony of the trophy as students from both KIIT and KISS lined both sides of the main thoroughfare leading up to the stadium to pay their salutation to the trophy.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, addressing the crowd through a video message, said it was a moment of pride for Odisha to have been bestowed with the honour of hosting the tournament for the second time in a row. “Let’s show to the world that Odisha is the global hub of Hockey,” he asserted.
“We have built the largest Hockey stadium at Rourkela in the run-up to the event. I am sure the tournament will be a grand success and a memorable one,” he said. The tournament is being held from January 13 to January 29 in both Bhubaneswar and Rourkela.
Dr Samanta, in his address, said the KIIT family feels proud that the trophy is being feted in midst of 15000 students. He said the credit for hosting the event back-to-back goes to the CM and lauded his efforts for the construction of the biggest Hockey stadium in India at Rourkela. Dr Samanta also made a special mention about the four Olympians of KIIT who travelled on short notice from outside to be at the event. They were Dutee Chand, CA Bhavani Devi, Shivpal Singh, and Amiya Mallick.
In his address, Mr Rout exuded confidence that the tournament will be even better than the last one and wished that Odisha hosts the event again after four years under the leadership of the CM. The Mayor also expressed her hope for the grand success of the tournament and urged the citizens to keep the city clean, beautiful and extend their warm hospitality so that the visitors visit Bhubaneswar again and again.
The city commissioner said the entire city has got involved ever since the trophy arrived in the city and appealed to all to be a perfect host for the success of the tournament.
The welcome ceremony was succeeded by a dazzling cultural programme and fireworks.