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New Indian Express: Heart Beats for Hockey kicks off (8/30/2018)
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New Indian Express: ‘Heart Beats for Hockey’ kicks off

A billion plus hearts and support from every Indian for hockey is planned under the unique campaign.

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha on Wednesday kicked off the 90-day countdown for the Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, starting November 28, with great fanfare and unique campaigns to create a buzz around the showpiece event. Coinciding with the National Sports Day that marks the birth anniversary of hockey legend Dhyanchand, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled “My Heart Beats for Hockey” campaign and the countdown clock to spread the passion and love for hockey in the lead up to the World Cup. As part of the campaign, hockey lovers would record their heartbeats to pledge more support for the game ahead of the mega sporting event. A billion plus hearts and support from every Indian for hockey is planned under the unique campaign.

“Hockey has a prominent place in the sports history of Odisha which has produced brilliant players who have brought laurels for the country at the international sports arena. My Government is taking all steps to organise the Hockey World Cup in a befitting manner and ensure that it’s a grand success,” Naveen said. The Hockey India has also expressed its satisfaction over the preparations for the World Cup. “Odisha is no doubt the flag bearer of hockey in India at present.

The way the Government is promoting hockey is remarkable. The World Cup campaign will greatly increase the popularity of the game in the country,” Hockey India CEO Eleena Norman said. The function was attended by both former and present hockey stars of Odisha including former captain of National team Dillip Tirkey, Olympian Lazarus Barla and budding national talent Dipsan Tirkey. “There cannot be a better platform to promote hockey than the World Cup. It will take Odisha to the elite pedestal a n d have hugely positive fallouts.

It will create a global image of our State and with 16 teams and their supporters coming in, tourism will receive a great boost,” former MP Tirkey said. “The Government’s efforts are commendable. Though I have played in Olympics and international tournaments in my career, I had never witnessed such type of promotion of hockey. This will definitely inspire youngsters,” Barla contended.

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