The Hockey Fever


Come November this year and the city of temples will be all set to host the biggest sporting extravaganza in the history of Odisha sports. After successfully hosting the 2017 Asian Athletics Championship with élan, the state capital is now ready to welcome the who’s-who of hockey for Hockey World Cup 2018 to be held in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, from November 28 to December16th. While the state government is leaving no stone unturned for the successful conduct of the mega event, the youngsters are equally excited to watch their favourite hockey stars in action. We caught  up with a few youngsters who sounded excited and confident ahead of the quadrennial event. Excerpts follow…

The biggest hockey event happening in Bhubaneswar is such a proud moment for the state and our sports fraternity. The popularity of hockey will get a major boost after the tournament and inspire many youngsters to take up the sport. I have always admired the beautiful sport of hockey and have watched a few matches in Bhubaneswar as well. Though I would be busy shooting for my next film in November, I hope to see our players in action if time permits. All my best wishes to Team India! -Ronak Dash,Ollywood actor


With the Hockey World Cup around the corner, my excitement is sky-high. This is for the first time that Bhubaneswar will be hosting such a grand event and I cannot afford to miss the matches at all. I will be rooting for the Indian team and have kept my fingers crossed that they would win the world cup. Earlier Jharsuguda was known as the cradle of hockey but after the event, I am sure Bhubaneswar will establish itself as a sports capital of the world. Apart from sports, our tourism, handicraft and handloom will get a major boost with the influx of foreign tourists to our state. -Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, Social Activist

Hockey World Cup event is probably the best way to prove to the world that we are the next global sporting destination! I can already feel the hockey fever among the Bhubaneswar residents. We all are waiting with bated breath to watch the hockey stars battle it out for the coveted title! For me, watching hockey sitting in the stands is much more enjoyable than any sport in the world! I will definitely watch all the matches with my family once the tournament gets underway. Go for it India!-Jiten Sarangi, Entrepreneur


I’m really excited and looking forward to the event! Honestly, hockey is not just our national game but an emotion for all the Indians out there. It is strange when other sports are given more priority over hockey provided notwithstanding our achievements in the sport. I feel proud that my hometown is hosting the hockey extravaganza. Surely no matter whatever work I indulge into, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to experience hockey so closely.  -Pooja Mishra, Model and Social Worker


Hockey World Cup is just a few days away and I cannot keep calm! The very thought of international hockey players coming to our city has kept me in high spirits. The event would help in focusing our state at a global level and spread awareness on hockey among the people as well. I think not a single person in Bhubaneswar should miss the quadrennial event! I would love to meet each and every player and salute their sporting spirit. Though based in Koraput now, I would love to come down to Bhubaneswar to watch a few matches and cheer for Team India! Chak De India! -Bismita Bisoyi, Tourism Teacher in Govt. High School

Being a sportsperson, I am super-excited about the Hockey World Cup. It will be a treat to watch some of the top hockey stars in action in our home soil. I hope I get to meet my favourite Indian player Dipshan Tirkey from Odisha during the tournament. I have never missed a single hockey match played in Bhubaneswar before. Even I remember braving heavy rains just to cheer for the Indian team during the Men’s Champions Trophy. This time around I will also be supporting the Indian team. Good luck to them! -Jitendra Kumar Rout, National Kickboxing Player



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