The proud of Rourkela and Olympian veteran defender Dilip Tirkey is organizing one of the biggest rural hockey tournaments of the world with over mammoth number of teams. It will also inaugurated by Vice President Hamid Ansari on 10th December in Rourkela and finals will be played in March.
The total number of teams that will participate is 1700 and with more than 30000 players from the rural belt of Odisha. This is the highest number of participation of teams in any tournament in the world so far as per a local daily.
The total prize money will be around Rs. 30 lakhs. Dilip Tirkey said that the main aim behind this tournament is to inspire tribal youth to pick up hockey stick and ensure that they start dreaming again. “It is terrible to see the youth waste their lives. That is why I decided to organised this tournament.”
“The craze for hockey in this belt is no secret, they just need a proper platform to showcase their talent and we are providing that”
said the BJD member of parliament and three times Olympian.
“As a former Olympian, it is my duty to give it back to the game and the players. I cannot see young boys pick up guns. They need to be armed with hockey sticks so that they can play, get jobs and spend time on the field rather than be brainwashed by Maoist elements,” he said to TOI.