Bhubaneswar: Hockey India President and former captain of Indian Hockey team Dilip Tirkey on Tuesday appreciated the works of veteran journalist, philanthropist, statesman Pradyumna Bal, describing him as a tribal lover who worked immensely for the betterment of tribal community.
“Pradyumna Bal was a tribal lover. He has worked immensely for the betterment of the tribal people,” Tirkey said while participating in the Pradyumna Bal Jayanti celebration through a virtual link.
The ace hockey star stressed on Odisha government’s efforts to make the State a hockey hub and State Capital Bhubaneswar a sports hub of India.
“At least three to four players are representing the Indian Team in both men and women categories. We are trying to strengthen the hostel and hockey academic to train more players,” he said.
Hockey India has decided to give Rs 50,000 incentive to the international hockey players and Rs 25,000 to the supporting staff. The move of Hockey India will definitely inspire the players to focus more on sports and their career, he informed.
Government has been making continuous efforts to bring the downtrodden tribal youths to the mainstream and sports have become a medium. The Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government has consistently supported the sports, Tirkey maintained.
Odisha Sports Secretary Veenel Krishna, who was also a part of the ceremony, said Bhubaneswar has become a sports hub in the world. It is not without a reason.
“The last hockey world cup was a great success which was marked by spectacular cultural activities. Odisha had drawn applause from all over the globe due to the successful hosting of the mega sport event,” he said.
The State government is making all-out efforts to build a mega stadium in Rourkela, which has a capacity of 20,000 audiences. The hockey lover would get a better experience like Bhubaneswar this time, the secretary pointed out.
“Besides, we will also initiate number of sports related activities in district -level for the promotion of the world cup,” Krishna added.
“At the same time, we also expect a better performance from team India this time because the Indian squad had bagged medal in Tokyo Olympics,” he asserted.
Olympian Sunita Lakra highlighted the role of Odisha government and CM Naveen Patnaik in giving a new dimension to Hockey in international level. She also said that media has bigger role in taking forward the sports activities. Pragativadi is one among them which encouraged the sports and sports persons in every sphere, Lakra said.