Cuttack: With an aim of reviving hockey in Cuttack and other coastal districts of Odisha, Poonam Youth Welfare Organisation (PYWO), a voluntary group has been working hard for last eight years.
The organization set up by former national level hockey player Gyanesh Kanungo in association with international hockey technical staff Biswaranjan Sarangi, hockey coach of East Coast Railway Ranjan Das and former Odisha player Tapas Das since then has been providing necessary support to budding talents by providing them with the right training.
This year too, PYWO organised the Rajat Memorial Inter-School Hockey Tournament at Odisha Police High School, Cuttack from January 25.
Former Indian hockey captain and MP Dilip Tirkey inaugurated the tournament that saw participation from eight schools of coastal belt.
“Earlier, nearly 50 students from different schools of Cuttack were being trained by a coach at Satyabrata Stadium. However, the practice stopped midway due to various reasons. Later, PYWO chipped in and since then it has been working for development of the game in coastal areas of Odisha,” said East Coast Railway Coach and PYWO member Ranjan Das.
PYWO founder, Gyanesh Kanungo informed that several youngsters including Sahil Nayak and Sambit Mishra, who played here in the past, are all set to play for the State and country.
“The players have now been groomed as top-level players. Sahil, a student of Odisha Police High School had played for Indian Schools in the Asian School Championship as a goal-keeper. We can improve on our job to nurture talent if we get a proper field and a hostel in Cuttack,” Kanungo added.
A player said that PYWO has been providing with equipments and hockey sticks and organising inter-school hockey tournaments and camps at regular intervals.
The group not only organises training camps for budding talents, focus is also given on producing hockey umpires and match officials by conducting workshops.
“I am very happy to know about the organisation hosting the inter-school matches in Cuttack for last few years. Cuttack has a good past record in hockey, many good players from Cuttack were coming for State level selection camps. School children having good skills need a proper platform for their development,” said Olympian Dilip Tirkey.