Dilip Tirkey, a newly elected President of Hockey India and Olympian, is optimistic that the 36th National Games will bring out many new talent.
“Indian hockey is in revival mode. Tirkey stated that youngster are now taking the game in large numbers and that the National Games could give the sport the final push it needs.
Hockey will be the best because only the top eight women’s and men’s teams will compete. He stated that young players could showcase their talents and hope to be recognized nationally.
Hockey action in Rajkot will start on October 2nd.
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Tirkey acknowledged that his elevation in Indian hockey was a great honour. It is a great honor to be a leader of a team with such rich history. I was happy to see that the men’s team won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics. This will help to boost the sport. The 44-year old said that we must continue to improve our game.
Tirkey’s goal is to promote hockey where it was once popular. It is crucial that states like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and cities such as Mumbai and Bhopal be included in the promotion of hockey. These places are crucial. I will visit them and try to help the game grow from the grassroots. He pointed out that these areas need more artificial grasses to develop talent.”
The HI chief is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in world hockey during his playing days. He also understands the importance of goalkeepers who are skilled drag-flickers and courageous goalkeepers. Modern hockey is all about penalty corners. He said that we need to find and groom goalkeepers who are able to score penalty corners.
Tirkey also revealed plans to revive Hockey India League. It was last played in 2017. It is an important tournament. We will search for an international window, and will be in touch with FIH officials about this.”
Tirkey thanked the Odisha Government and hockey officials for their support in the election. “As a hockey player, I worked hard. I represented India in the Olympics and other major international tournaments. This is my new challenge. He said that there are many expectations. His immediate priority is the World Cup, Odisha, starting January 13, next year.”
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