Bhubaneswar: The first ever Bhubaneswar School Hockey Tournament held at Unit-6 High School Ground, here on Sunday. The Tournament on the eve of mega event Hockey Men’s World Cup is an initiative to celebrate hockey as well as inspire youngsters to get involved in sports, said Siba Mohanty, deputy resident editor of The New Indian Express which is hosting the event.

Four schools — Tapovan High School, Capital High School Unit-3 and Kalinga Institure of Social Science(KISS) from Bhubaneswar and Giridhari Jew Vidaya Mandir participated in the day long event organised by  TNIE in association with the state government’s Department of Sports & Youth Services and with technical support of Hockey Gangpur, Odisha.

The New Indian Express provided hockey sticks, balls, goalkeeper kits and jerseys to all the players taking part in the tournament.

Hockey has been a favourite sport in Odisha which has consistently produced top class hockey players who have performed at the highest levels and brought glory to the state and country. However, the sport has been majorly restricted to the tribal regions like Sundargarh district. The tournament will strive to generate interest and give a boost to hockey in the Capital City.

“The World Cup Hockey being hosted by Odisha has generated huge excitement and enthusiasm among the people, particularly the youth, towards the game. The TNIE is making an effort to leverage the increasing interest among the youngsters by providing them a platform to actually get involved in the game. The hockey kits will be a huge motivating factor for them to continue practicing the game and hone their talent”, said Mohanty.