Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: On the occasion of National Sports Day, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today inaugurated the 'My heart beats for hockey' campaign at Kalinga stadium here.

"The countdown for the mega event of Men's Hockey World Cup begins today. I appeal to the people across the country to join the campaign and spread the passion and love for hockey," the Chief Minister said.

Several promotional events have been lined up during the 90-day campaign.

"I am glad to be here today to join the campaign “My Heart Beats for Hockey” as well as unveil the countdown clock. The countdown clock is here to showcase 90 days to go for the Hockey World Cup-2018. It will rhyme with the heart of India and the rhythm of Odisha in the run up to the mega sports event," CM Naveen said.

"Today we are also celebrating the birthday of legendary Dhyan Chand as National Sports Day. I pay my tributes to this illustrious sports person who continues to be the source of inspiration for millions and millions of hockey lovers," he added.

The Chief Minister said that hockey has a prominent place in the sports history of Odisha, which has produced brilliant players who brought laurels for the country at the international sports arena.

"The World Cup is Hockey’s highest ranking tournament. Therefore, my government is taking all the steps to organize it in a befitting manner and ensure that it’s a grand success.I congratulate all the Award winners on their achievements and wish them further success in their sporting endeavors. I hope they would continue to bring glory to the country and our state," the Chief Minister said.

The Hockey World Cup 2018 is scheduled to be held between November 28 and December 16 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.