Bhubaneswar: Sundergarh MP and senior BJP leader Jual Oram has expressed concern over reported move of the Odisha government to hand over hockey training activities to private institutions and shut down the senior hockey hostels in his constituency.
“State Government, in the name of providing higher facilities, shifted the Centre of Excellence (for senior boys and girls) to Bhubaneswar. Since then a downward drift in the performance of hockey hostel has been noticed,” Oram wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Oram said the State government has indulged in bringing private partners in the name of promoting hockey. Private partners have suggested some new measures which, hockey watchers, feel, will have negative impact on hockey in Sundargarh district.
“State Government's "do not care" attitude has compelled me to knock at your door to help tribal sportsman of my district. I request you to establish a hockey training centre at Sundargarh under the aegis of SAI purely for Odisha hockey players,” Oram said.
“Famously called as cradle or goldmines of hockey Sundargarh has produced more than 70 international players which include 9 Olympians,” he added.
Citing newspaper reports on government’s planning to shut down senior hockey hostels and handing over of hockey training activities to private institutions, Oram said,“ If these reports are true then it would prove ruinous for hockey.”
Oram has also requested Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik to restore pre 2014 facilities in Sundargarh and reinstate Centre of Excellence at Rourkela Panposh hockey hostel immediately and hoped that this step will help in bringing back the lost glory of Panposh hockey hostel.
The Sundergarh MP further stated that he received a memorandum from former international players, hockey lovers, followers of Sundargarh district about Odisha players being treated unfairly in matter of selection in national teams and requested the CM to take up the issue with concern authorities.
It may be noted that Rourkela been selected as the co-host of the Hockey's biggest event, the upcoming Men's World Cup scheduled to be played in 2023.
(Edited By Suryakant Jena)
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