Rourkela (Odisha) [India], May 27 (ANI): After the unprecedented success of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela and FIH Hockey Men's Pro League 2022-2023, hockey is back in Odisha again. The 13th Hockey India Sub Junior Men's National Championship 2023 has entered the Semifinal stage at the world's largest seated Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela.
The marquee competition kicked off on the 18th of May, following the 13th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship 2023 (May 4th to May 14th). The event is proving to be a spectacular opportunity for young athletes to compete with their peers across India and showcase their potential and the experience of playing in a world-class facility has left many of the athletes spellbound.
The decision to allow free entry for viewers has enabled them to experience playing in front of a large audience while the state-of-the-art synthetic turf has replicated the experience of an international match.
Srijan Yadav of DadraNagar Haveli and DamanDiu Hockey has already scored eight goals in just three games. He expressed his gratitude at the opportunity to play at the World Cup venue, where some of the finest hockey players recently competed, "I have not experienced an environment like this anywhere else. The atmosphere is so good, it feels like I am playing an international tournament. I am grateful to Hockey India and the state of Odisha for giving us an opportunity like this," he said.
Laruatfela Zote, who is leading Hockey Mizoram as coach, also spoke about the value of early exposure to a professional competition for his team, while commending the quality of the synthetic turf.
He said, "This is a top-quality turf, the way the ball plays are very different from what the boys are used to, and it is important exposure for them. Especially since this is an international standard. Furthermore, the atmosphere has been great, the crowd, the music, it is very encouraging for the players. The experience will undoubtedly shape the players for the future."Besides the synthetic turf, the players have been appreciative of the overall hospitality that they have enjoyed. Bijay Shaw, an integral member of the Hockey Bengal unit, spoke highly of the facilities.
He went on to say, "is so good to play in an international stadium, the atmosphere is very different. This is unlike any other venue we have played at. The changing rooms are very good. As a player you have access to all the resources you need, so you can focus on giving your best performance."While the title of Champions of the 13th Hockey India Sub Junior Men National Championship 2023 is still up for grabs, it is abundantly clear that the 13th Hockey India Sub Junior Men's National Championship 2023 at the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium has been an extraordinary experience for all 28 teams involved. The young athletes have relished the opportunity to showcase their talent on an international-standard synthetic turf, while the vibrant atmosphere and enthusiastic crowd have provided an inspiring backdrop. (ANI)