The Odisha model of sporting excellence: Hindustan Times

(This column first appeared in Hindustan Times on August 3, 2021)

  • For India, the big takeaway from the Tokyo Olympics is the return of hockey to national consciousness. The men’s team lost in the semi-finals on Tuesday, but remains in contention for a bronze. The women’s team will compete in the semi-finals on Wednesday, after having entered the final four for the first time in history. But behind this success lies what can be called the Odisha model. With chief minister Naveen Patnaik taking the lead, Odisha has been the main sponsor of Indian hockey teams (both men and women, both senior and junior) in recent years. It has provided funds, infrastructure, facilities, and hosted global tournaments in a bid to recapture the special place Indian hockey had in world sport. And this is now paying dividends…

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