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Hockey stadium soon

- State outfit to hold first meeting tomorrow

Future Asuntas and Bigans, rejoice. Hockey Jharkhand is planning a state-of-the-art stadium for you.

Speaking to The Telegraph on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of Hockey Jharkhand at Astroturf stadium in Morabadi on Thursday, senior officials said they would first set up a stadium and then convert it into an academy.

The first meeting in this regard is likely to be held on Saturday, after which the association will submit a formal proposal to the state government, seeking land.

“We are planning a stadium and an academy. On Saturday, we will meet our officials to chalk out the stadium plan. Then, we will submit a formal proposal for the plot,” said Hockey Jharkhand general secretary Savitry Purty over phone. She added that the aim was to boost the national game and scout for talents.

The initiative promises to bring back the golden days of hockey in Jharkhand. Over the years, the state has churned out legendary icons in form of former Olympians Sylvanus Dungdung, Manohar Topno and Savitry Purty.

In the recent past, players like Asunta Lakra and Bigan Soy have exhibited their skills in both national and international fields, but neither the state nor the association can claim any credit for it.

Players have welcomed the step. “Lack of facilities and resources are the main reasons as to why players move out of the state. It is certainly a great news,” said Jharkhand goalie Bigan Soy, who helped India win bronze at Hockey Junior World Cup 2013 Women in Germany in August.

This apart, the outfit has decided to host a state championship in March in the capital. “Before that, there will be district-level tournaments,” said treasurer Suresh Kumar, adding that Hockey Jharkhand president Sudesh Mahto has also decided to form a state team to seek training out of the country.