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Tata Steel director Dr Peter Blauwhoff visits Naval Tata Hockey Academy

Infrastructure development at Naval Tata Hockey Academy to be completed by Feb 2019: Sunil Bhaskaran

Ratan Tata to formally inaugurate the academy by March 2018

Jamshedpur, Dec. 18: The Naval Tata Hockey Academy at the Indian Steel and Wire Products Sports Complex near Telco will be formally inaugurated by Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata on or before March 3, 2018, said Sunil Bhaskaran, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel.

The Academy which was launched in July 2017 consists of 26 cadets including 19 from Khunti, 4 from West Singhbhum and 3 from Seraikela-Kharsawan who are being trained by Dutch coach Lennard Poillot.

Dr Peter Blauwhoff, additional (independent) director, Tata Steel along with Sanjiv Paul, Managing Director, Tata Metaliks, Khorshed Talati, senior development officer of Tata Trust, G.M. Sharan, administrator of the academy, and other senior officials of the company visited the Naval Tata Hockey Academy and was quite impressed with the facilities being provided to the cadets at the academy. Dr Peter Blauwhoff who himself has played hockey at the highest league for the Dutch met with the cadets and was informed about the facilities and future development works of the academy by Khorshed Talati.

Talking to media at the hockey academy ground on Monday evening, Sunil Bhaskaran said, ‘the focus is on the cadets who are undergoing training and soon invitation games will be held to provide them the exposure. In Netherland the hockey coaching starts at the age of 8 and we need to develop that culture in India. This initiative will promote hockey and sustain it as a national sport in India’.

Bhaskaran further said that cadets at the Naval Tata Hockey Academy are from the rural belts and have never played on Astroturf. There is big difference in playing on the grass and the Astroturf as ball jumps on the grass and at the Astroturf the cadets are learning to dribble and control the ball. But there is no doubt that the talent here is world class, he added.

In response to a query, Bhaskaran said that proposal for infrastructure development at the Naval Tata Hockey Academy has been cleared by the Tata Steel board and soon the work will begin. ‘It will take around 15 months for the infrastructure development to complete and we expect that by February 2019 we will have all ready which will benefit the cadets and the hockey on the whole’, added Tata Steel Vice President.

It may be noted that Tata Trusts had joined hands with Tata Steel, Bovelander and Bovelander B.V and One Million Hockey Legs, Netherlands, to promote hockey in India and galvanize the sport through professionalization of grassroots level hockey in the country.

The cadets from Khunti are from feeder centres run by Tata Trusts in collaboration with Collectives for Integrated Livilihood Initiatives (Cini) while their counterparts from West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan are from facilities run by Tata Steel Rural Development Society.

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