1458 Teams from 900 Villages Participate in Rural Hockey Championship in Odisha

Entertainment | February 22, 2017 | News

Prelude Novel Ventures

Hockey players from 1,458 teams from 900 villages assembled for The Biju Patnaik Rural Hockey Championship that took place, under the aegis of Dilip Tirkey Sports Research and Development Foundation. While the inaugural event took place in December, the tournament is being held in 32 venues with the finals slated on March 5, the Birth Anniversary of Biju Patnaik.

Prelude successfully organised and managed the grand opening of the mammoth tournament, which was a Guinness Record and a Limca Record in terms of the number of players and participating teams according to Padmashri Dilip Tirkey, now a Rajya Sabha member.

The inauguration saw 23,300 rural players raising their hockey sticks together on the green astro-turf ground. The Vice President of India, M Hamid Ansari inaugurated the Biju Patnaik Rural Hockey Championship, remarking on how nowhere in the world even half of the 1,458 participating teams turn up for any field hockey event.

Felicitating hockey Olympians, Michael Kindo, Ignace Tirkey, Birendra Lakra, Ashok Kumar, the son of hockey legend Dhayanchand, and AB Subbaiah were present.  Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the tribal-dominated Sundargarh district is a nursery of hockey, which has brought the world’s attention to Odisha. He added that the tournament would be a big motivation to the tribals in the region.

The objective of the tournament was to bring about a sports culture in the Naxal-infested regions and ensure that the tribal youth “pick up hockey sticks and not guns,” in Tirkey’s words.

Internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik who has designed the logo was extremely happy to be a part of this grand initiative. “I shall be promoting this championship through all things artistic and hope to make this event popular across the globe. Our players are extremely talented. They just need the right push and promotion,” he said.

The Championship began in December and will end on March 5, with the grand opening managed by Prelude Novel Ventures.

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