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Hockey India Junior Men Academy Championship in city from April 20

Budding talents from 32 outfits to display prowess on artificial  turf
Naval Tata Hockey Academy in Jamshedpur
Naval Tata Hockey Academy in Jamshedpur
Bhola Prasad

Jayesh Thaker   |   Jamshedpur   |   Published 15.04.22, 06:56 PM

Budding talents from different cradles will be seen in action at the 2nd Hockey India Junior Men Academy Championship to be played in the steel city from April 20 to May 1. The event is scheduled at Naval Tata Hockey Academy near Telco township of the city. With the Covid-19  related situation vastly improved, big events are getting back to the sports city of Jamshedpur.

As many as 32 teams will be in the fray, hosts Naval Tata Hockey Academy, Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy, RV Academy of Hockey, Mumbai Schools Sports Association, Raja Karan Hockey Academy, Tamil Nadu Hockey Academy, Republican Sports Club, Smart Hockey Academy, Namdhari XI,Ghumanhera Riser's Academy, Jai Bharat Hockey Academy, SAIL Hockey Academy, Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy, Olympian Vivek Singh Hockey Academy, Dhyan Chand Hockey Academy, Har Hockey Academy, SGP Hockey Academy, HIM Academy,  Mata Sahib Kaur Hockey Academy, Salute Hockey Academy, Markandeshwar Hockey Academy, Citizen Hockey XI, Cheema Hockey Academy, SAI Academy, Hubli Hockey Academy, Malwa Hockey Academy and Army Boys Sports Company.

Other outfits include Vadipatti Raja Hockey Academy, Bhai Behlo Hockey Academy, Berar Hockey Academy Gangpur Sports Academy. The participating teams have been divided into 8 separate pools.

Inaugurated in March 2018, The Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA) has been set up through a joint collaboration between Tata Steel, Tata Trusts and Indian Steel & Wire Products (ISWP), a subsidiary of Tata Steel, with a vision to professionalize grassroots hockey in the talent-rich tribal belts of Jharkhand and Odisha.

Spread over 10 acres, the academy has world-class facilities that include a Fédération Internationale de Hockey (FIH) global quality artificial turf with floodlights, international coaches, nutritionists as well as mental and physical trainers to provide high-performance hockey training.

Netherlands-based Bovelander Hockey Academy led by legendary drag-flicker Floris Jan Bovelander, former Olympian and assistant coach of the Dutch national team, has been engaged to develop the training curriculum for delivering high-performance coaching. A three-tier structure has been set-up starting with a grassroots programme for 10 to 12 years age group followed by training at the District Level Regional Development Centres (RDCs) and finally getting selected into the academy at an age of 14 years to 17 years.

The first batch of 28 boys was selected from the villages of Simdega, Khunti and West Singhbhum districts. They have undergone a year-long programme of rigorous training provided by Dutch coaches and Indian hockey legend Sandeep Singh. Presently, NTHA Jamshedpur has 32 boy cadets.

Over the past 4 years, NTHA has successfully resulted in 17 players representing their respective states at various national level tournaments. The academy aims to become a “Centre of Excellence” for hockey by creating a professional environment that enables young players to achieve their full potential. Players emerging from the cradle are free to pursue the game at the highest levels - playing for the country as well as clubs around the world.

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