In a first-of-its-kind association, Indian hockey got a new sponsor in state government of Odisha, which has decided to support the game for the next five years.
The announcement was made by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik during a grand function in New Delhi, which was also attended by both the Indian men’s and women’s hockey team players, International Hockey Federation (FIH) and IOA President Narinder Batra, IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta among other dignitaries.
During the function, Odisha government also unveiled its logo that will don the new jerseys of both the teams.
Although it is not known how much money the state is going to pump into hockey, the association holds great significance for the development of the sport.
Commenting on the association, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: “Hockey in Odisha is more than a sport, it’s a way of life, especially in our tribal regions where children learn to walk with hockey sticks.
“No wonder Odisha has produced India’s finest hockey talent. This is a first where a state government will not just be promoting a sport within its boundaries but will also support and nurture India hockey. This is Odisha’s gift to the nation.”