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Impetus to rural hockey players

- Dilip Tirkey to provide boost to the national game by organising matches

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 23: Former India hockey captain Dilip Tirkey is ready to give a boost to the sport in the hockey cradle of the state — Sundergarh.

Tirkey has announced the biggest rural hockey tournament of the region — the Sundergarh Rural Hockey Olympiad.

Hailing from the tribal belt where hockey is a way of life, Tirkey feels the tradition of rural hockey needs to be given an impetus now.

“In this region of the state, around 70 to 80 teams made of four or five players each, play tournaments similar to the six-a-side exhibition matches played in urban areas. We wish to channelise this passion for the game to create good talents through the Rural Hockey Olympiad,” he said.

The event has been planned by Dilip’s sports foundation in association with the Central Adivasi Club, Rourkela.

The tournament will open on January 26 at Gaibira High School playground, Subdega Block. The Olympiad will continue till March 5.

“The tournament will be played within Sundergarh district for which grand arrangements have been made. Around 700 teams from 17 blocks of the district will take part. The teams will be awarded attractive cash prizes. This tournament is open to both men and women of Sundergarh,” said Tirkey.

Planning the schedule took over 20 days and today the logo was formally launched. The logo shows a male and female hockey player on the turf. The tagline says: “Hockey for progress; hockey for brotherhood.”