Naveen Patnaik illuminated A New Era of Indian Hockey


Women’s and men’s hockey teams created history by reaching the semi-finals after nearly four decades in Tokyo Olympics. The credit for this victory goes to players of the hockey teams. The credit for the reestablishment of Indian hockey teams goes to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who not only brought hockey back from the era of failure but also for encouraging it and supported in every way from training to sponsorship.

Naveen Patnaik neither publicized nor tried to take credit for all this. The current vice-captains of both the men’s and women’s hockey teams are from Odisha.

The Sahara India family was associated with Indian hockey since 1995, in 2017 the company’s contract was extended till 2021, but due to the bad financial condition of the company, this deal broke in 2018 itself. At such time, Naveen Patnaik became the new ‘support’ of the Indian hockey team and patronized it. Odisha became the first state to take responsibility for national teams. That too when Odisha is not one of the richest states of the country. With the likes of Indian professional Sprinter Dutee Chand, Odisha has also over the years produced several national-level Hockey players. The state has simultaneously stepped up to develop the sports infrastructure and sponsor national teams.

Entry of Odisha In Hockey

After Sahara’s exit in 2018, the Odisha govt. took over the reins of sponsorship of the Indian national hockey teams both in the junior and senior levels.

The Odisha govt. signed round ₹ 150 Crore deal with Hockey India to sponsor the men’s and women’s hockey teams over the next 5 years. This was the first time that the state government has decided to sponsor a national team.

 In collaboration with the Tata group, in 2018 the state government set up the Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High-Performance Centre at Kalinga stadium in Bhubneshwar. It was opened with a vision to groom the upcoming sporting talent in Hockey and produce world-class sportspersons. This centre has commenced its boys resident programme at the Kalinga Hockey Complex for which 31 cadets have been selected for the programme. It also has 12 grassroots centers, at which over 2500 young trainees are being trained.

How Odisha Is Encouraging Hockey

The state has hosted major hockey tournaments in the last five years. It hosted the Champions Trophy in 2014, the Hockey World League Final in 2017, and the World Cup in 2018. Odisha for the second time is the host of the Men’s Hockey World Cup, which is to be played in Bhubneshwar and Rourkela in 2023.

In Rourkela, the Patnaik Government is building the country’s biggest Hockey Stadium with a seating capacity of 20,000 spectators that will be named after tribal leader Birsa Munda. Odisha is planning to lay a synthetic hockey turf in each of the 17 blocks of the Sundargarh district.

Out of the 20 sports hostels in the state, two in Sundargarh are dedicated to Hockey.

The first-ever Khelo India University Games was held in Odisha in which 4,000 athletes from 176 Universities participated in 211 events in 17 sports events in 17 sports events over 10 days. 

Biography of Naveen Patnaik

Naveen Patnaik born on 16 October 1946 in Cuttack is an Indian politician serving as the current and 14th Chief Minister of Odisha. Naveen Patnaik is also the president of the Biju Janata Dal and became chief minister in 2000. He is a writer and has authored three books. He studied in Doon school in Dehradun (Uttarakhand) and went to St. Joseph College (Delhi University) for higher studies.

Why he entered Politics?

After the demise of his father Biju Patnaik in 1997, he entered into politics under family pressure and didn’t have enough knowledge of the local language and culture. Due to a lack of knowledge about Orissa, he was criticized many times but he managed and formed Biju Janta Dal in 1997.

Why he is loved in Odisha?

  • He has managed the Cyclone and disaster within the state.
  • He launches new schemes for Women and encourages women Empowerment.
  • Orissa is the only state having 24 hrs drinking water facility.

At A Glance :

Hockey teams in Olympics

As the entire nation plunged into celebrations after the Indian team lifted a medal in the Olympics after more than four decades, greetings poured in from across the country for Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik – a patron of the national game during its dark period.

The Odisha government, which became an official sponsor of the national hockey teams, both men and women, in 2018, ultimately reaped the credit.

The Indian men’s hockey  team defeated Germany 5-4 to win their Bronze match after 41 years of defeating Germany at the ongoing Tokyo Games. This happened with definite help from Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated the men’s hockey team to claim the bronze medal at the Tokyo Games. “Many congratulations to our hockey team… the whole of India is so excited, as is Odisha, of course. We are all behind you and wish you the very best,” Mr. Patnaik said in a brief video interaction with members of the history-making team.

The Indian women’s hockey team finished fourth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and there is no doubt that they are one of our finest athletes to wear the Indian jersey. Indian women’s hockey team has scripted history by qualifying for the Olympic semi-finals for the first time with a stunning victory over Australia.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik spoke to the Indian women’s hockey team on a video call and congratulated them for putting up a brave fight against Great Britain in the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics. With this loss, the Indian women’s team finished fourth while the team of Great Britain captured their third consecutive Olympic medal.