Naval Tata Hockey Academy Odisha celebrates its first anniversary

Bhubaneswar: Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA) Odisha, based out of Kalinga Hockey Complex, Kalinga stadium, Bhubaneswar, completes one successful year of its journey of grooming hockey talent of the State and shaping the future of hockey in India.

The Academy, established by the Department of Sports & Youth Services, Govt. of Odisha, in partnership with HAF (Hockey Ace Foundation) and under the aegis of Tata Trusts and Tata Steel, was launched on August 13, 2019, by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik, along with T. V. Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel, in presence of Shri Tusharkanti Behera, Minister of Sports & IT, Govt. Of Odisha, with a vision to groom the upcoming sporting talent in hockey and produce world-class sportspersons.

NTHA Odisha has ventured into planned grassroot programmes in Sundargarh & Sambalpur districts and has opened 10 grassroot centres with the deployment of 16 grassroot coaches to cater to the age group of 7-14 years. These centres have already registered 2000 girls and boys with focus on gender diversity.

On the occasion Shri Tusharkanti Behera, Minister of Sports & IT, Govt Of Odisha, said: “I congratulate each and every one at Naval Tata Hockey Academy, Odisha on its first anniversary. This High-Performance Centre for Hockey was set up with the aim to promote the Sport and nurture athletes for the elite level, and it gives me immense pleasure that in a short span the Centre has grown and continues to evolve. Today, this facility has become a sought-after hub for elite hockey training in the State and that speaks volumes about the commitment of the Government and team here. The girl cadets who had joined with lots of dreams and aspirations have benefitted from their time spent here and have improved their performances significantly. NTHA Odisha has collectively ensured the cadets train, practice and perfect their sporting skills. It has allowed them, both off and on the pitch, to come together and celebrate sports and friendship. I commend each and every person associated with NTHA Odisha, especially coaches, who track and objectively monitor each cadet and work towards enhancing their potential through proper training. Last few months have been tough and trying for all, owing to the pandemic, yet each one of you have shown trust and grit and tackled this phase bravely. You have resumed training and that is a boost to the overall morale of the Centre. I am confident that the Centre will continue to enhance the efforts of the Sate to develop Hockey champions of the future. All the very best for the journey ahead.”

Shri Vishal Kumar Dev, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Department of Sports and Youth Services and Tourism of Odisha, said: “NTHA Odisha, an initiative by Department of Sports & Youth Services, Govt. of Odisha, in partnership with HAF (Hockey Ace Foundation) and under the aegis of Tata Trusts and Tata Steel, promises to spearhead the hockey journey of the State with a vision to produce world-class players. Odisha is blessed with skilled and talented young athletes and the Academy will leverage this opportunity to promote and encourage local sporting talent. I congratulate NTHA Odisha on its 1st anniversary and wish them success in their future endeavours to shape Odisha’s sporting ambitions.

Chanakya Chaudhary, VP, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said: “Bhubaneswar is fast emerging as the sports capital of India. Naval Tata Hockey Academy, Odisha, is one such elite academy that engages at the grass root level to provide the best of education and training to the youth. The Academy is not just a high-performance centre for the youth but is truly an institution where we are nurturing tomorrow’s champions at an early age and shaping their careers in a 360-degree development model. As NTHA celebrates its 1st anniversary, we are confident of a promising future for hockey in India.”

Department for Sports & Youth Services, Government of Odisha, under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble CM of Odisha, has approved the plan to install multiple astro turfs in Sundargarh district in next 6-8 months that will give tremendous boost to hockey belt of Odisha and will provide the talent from the State with the added advantage of early exposure to astro-based pitch resulting in elite class players from the region. The Academy also has plans to send the cadets on foreign exchange programmes for international exposure as part of the Bovelander Hockey Academy (BHA) programme; the cadets missed their first such programme in April 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

NTHA Odisha is a national academy that has cultivated phenomenal sports culture in a short span of time. At present, 18 girls from Odisha, 5 from Jharkhand, 2 from Assam, 1 each from Punjab, Manipur, and UP are being given education under the Resident Programme. The academy plans to induct 30 boys (Under-17) into the Resident Programme this year as per the proposed model.

Bovelander Hockey Academy (BHA) is the technical partner of NTHA Odisha which was launched in 2017. Floris Bovelander, the Dutch Hockey Olympian and a legend, guides the programme along with his countrymen as coaches deputed to this Indian venture. Department for Sports & Youth Services, Govt of Odisha, provides the entire Infrastructure towards this project and the day-to-day operations of the Academy/ High Performance Centre (HPC) is carried out by HAF (Hockey Ace Foundation) with support from Tata Trusts, Tata Steel, and IndusInd.

Some of the amenities and state-of-the-art facilities possessed by NTHA Odisha:
• Foreign Coach & India Coaching Support Staff lead by Head Coach
• Hostel facility with latest standards of living
• Modular Kitchen facility with trained catering staff
• Home Pitch (Astro Turf) in Kalinga Hockey Complex
• Direct Access to Abhinav Bindra Target Performance Centre (aiming at Performance Measurement, mapping, Training & rehab process) in Kalinga Stadium
• Central Gymnasium in Kalinga Stadium
• International standard Swimming Complex
• Nutritionist for Elite Training Program
• In-house catering through professional Caterer
• Mental Trainer & psychologist
• Physio & Masseur
• NIOS – National Open Education Program for Non-Odia trainees
• Two tutors for reinforcement support to the education requirements
• Grassroot Coordinator
• Recreational & Specialised training in the Outdoor location

Some of the achievements of NTHA Odisha girl cadets in last one year:
• Khelo India 2020 Participation and accolades (5 girls represented Odisha State and won Bronze in U-17 age Group and 1 girl led Assam state and came fourth)
• 2 Girls participated in National School Championship and won awards
• Participated in Nehru Cup (Sub junior Women) and narrowly missed semi -final even if NTHA Odisha remained undefeated in the tourney in its first year of participation
• 100% success rate in passing examination in the academic year 2019-20

Odisha, with its focus on multiple sports and having launched 6 HPCs last year in Bhubaneswar, is truly recognised as the sports capital of the nation. The two back-to-back Men’s Hockey World Cup events (one held in 2018 and upcoming tournament in 2023) is a testimony to the State’s commitment to sports and the vision of SPORTS FOR YOUTH – YOUTH FOR SPORTS.

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