Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today unveiled the countdown clock for Hockey Men’s World Cup to be held in the state between November 28 and December 16 at the Kalinga Stadium here.
Ninety days before the stat of the mega event, Patnaik also launched the “My Heart Beats for Hockey” campaign saying the countdown clock will rhyme with the hearts of India and Odisha.
He said, “The campaign aims at spreading the passion for the game of hockey in the run-up to the Hockey World Cup.
The campaign urges people to pledge their support for the game, saying – my heart beats for hockey, does yours?”
Odisha has produced brilliant hockey players who have brought laurels for the country, Patnaik said.
“The state government is taking all the steps to organize it in a befitting manner and ensure that it’s a grand success,” Patnaik said at the programme attended by, among others, Hockey India CEO Elena Norman.
Officials said ‘Heartbeat Centres’ will be set up in select cities across the country including Jalandhar, Lucknow, Ranchi, New Delhi and Chennai to promote the World Cup.
As part of the campaign, specially designed hockey sticks will be installed in six cities – Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Bhopal, Rourkela and Imphal.
Additionally, two permanent installations would also be erected at the Kalinga Stadium, the officials said.
The chief minister also presented the Biju Patnaik Sports Award to hockey players Sunita Lakra and Amit Rohidas on the occasion. They received a cash award of Rs 2 lakh each.
Visually impaired cricketers Md Jafar Iqbal and Pankaj Bhue were given Rs 5 lakh each for their performances.
Athletics coach Sanjay Garnaik and sports journalist Sujit Kumar Garnayak were also awarded for their contribution to the field of sports.
The Biju Patnaik Bravery Award was conferred on Mamata Dalei and Biswajit Puhan, while Priyabrat Panda, N Khirod Sahu and Purna Chandra Behera were felicitated for their contribution in social work.