Bhubaneswar: The first Hockey India Junior & Sub-Junior Women’s Academy National Championship 2021, organised by Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre (ONTHHPC), concluded with SAI Academy lifting the winner’s trophy. SAI Academy won the trophy in the junior category by beating Madhya Pradesh Academy by 2-1 in the finals and Odisha Naval Tata Hockey HPC attaining the third position by defeating Khalsa Hockey Academy by 5-1.
Earlier on March 25, 2021, in the nail biting finals of the Sub-junior category, SAI Academy had emerged winners after defeating Odisha Naval Tata Hockey HPC 2-2 (4-5) after a penalty shootout. Bhumiksha Sahoo of Madhya Pradesh was declared as the best scorer of the sub junior and Taranpreet Kaur of Khalsa Hockey Academy Amritsar for junior categories.
The tournament that commenced on March 17 and concluded on March 26, 2021 had participation of 14 Hockey India-Affiliated Academy teams in the Junior Women’s category and 10 teams in the Sub-Junior category.
The event was hosted by the Department of Sports and Youth Services (DSYS), Govt. of Odisha & Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre under the patronage of the parent body Hockey India. All league matches till the quarter finals were played under natural light and Semi-Finals & Finals were played under Flood lights at the Kalinga Hockey Complex Main stadium.
In the post-match closing ceremony, the Chief Guest Shri Vishal Kumar Dev, Principal Secretary, Department of Sports & Youth Services of Odisha and Padma Shri Dilip Tirkey, Chairman, Hockey Promotion Council, Odisha presented the awards to the winners in the presence of Shri Pratap Satpathy, General Secretary, Hockey Odisha, Shri Ashwini Mohanty, Resident Executive, Tata Steel, Bhubaneswar, Shri Rajiv Seth, Project Director, ONTHHPC, Shri Sudhir Diggikar, CEO, Apollo Hospital, Bhubaneswar and Shri Varun Kappal, Regional Manager, Tata Trusts, Bhubaneswar.
Addressing the participants during the presentation ceremony, Principal Secretary, Sports and Youth Services Department, Government of Odisha, Shri Vishal K Dev, said, “You all have made an impression with your brilliant performance and this will be your foundation for many other achievements in the future. Your enthusiasm and energy during the matches here at Kalinga Stadium was phenomenal. We are proud of you all. This is where your Hockey legends and icons have played, this is where you have played. So, whether won or lost, let this be your greatest take from this tournament”.
Congratulating the participants Shri Chanakya Chaudhary, Chairman, Hockey Ace Foundation, and Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel, said: “Tata Steel has always been committed to promote a culture of sports in our country. Odisha Naval Tata Hockey HPC has been one of our endeavors in this direction. It has been an honor to host the first ever Hockey India Junior & Sub Junior Women Academy National Championship in Bhubaneswar in association with the Department of Sports and Youth Services, Govt of Odisha. In the ten days of the tournament, there was an excellent show of skill and sportsmanship by more than 400 players from 24 teams who had come from all across India. My heartiest congratulations to the winners and also to all the participants”.
The Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High Performance Centre (HPC) was set-up in Bhubaneswar with a vision to groom top sporting talent in hockey and produce world-class sportspersons. It was established by the Department of Sports & Youth Services, Govt. of Odisha, in partnership with the HAF (Hockey Ace Foundation) and under the aegis of the Tata Trusts and Tata Steel, and was launched on August 13, 2019, by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik, along with Mr T.V. Narendran, CEO & MD, Tata Steel.
The HPC was started in Bhubaneswar as part of the three-pronged Tata Odisha Hockey Programme which is a joint initiative of Tata Steel, Tata Trusts and Government of Odisha to nurture sports talent in the State, which is already being hailed as a cradle for the sport.
The HPC is named in honour of Naval H. Tata to commemorate his contribution to Hockey in India, his achievements as an outstanding sports administrator and passion for sports. Naval H. Tata held prestigious positions including that of President of the All India Council of Sports (AICS), President of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) for fifteen years and Vice Chairman of the International Hockey Federation (IHF).