All the wandering eyes of the world is firmly stuck on the city of Bhubaneshwar in the Indian state of Odisha as it plays host to one of the biggest sporting events in the globe, the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup. The Odisha government has come under a lot of praise for the infrastructure which they have put up in the city in order to host an event of such magnitude.
The state of Odisha has not always been known to be a hotbed of sports in the nation. The name often props up in one’s mind when thinking about beaches and temples. But with some meticulous planning and efforts, the state is soon positioning itself to become the sporting hub of the nation.
The Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneshwar is not the first major event which the state is hosting in the last couple of years. The Kalinga Stadium in the city along with the complex in the premises has become one of the best in the country. It has already seen some major events like the Asian Athletics Championships in 2017, the Indian Super League and the Super Cup in 2018 and also the recently concluded National Open Athletics Championships in September.
The hockey stadium inside the complex, which has been widely praised as one of the most impressive pieces of facilities in the sport has also tased hosting a major event as the Hockey Champions Trophy in 2014 and the FIH Hockey World League in 2017 were played out in the same venue.
The Odisha Government has made a mission out of positioning Bhubaneshwar, one of the biggest cities in the state, as the sporting capital of the country with the Kalinga Stadium as the centerpiece of the plan. The Government has decided to invest over 350 crores in 2019 to continue the trend and make sure that the city and the state has some of the best infrastructures in the world when sports other than cricket is concerned.
They have also tied up with various private firms like the Tata Group, JSW and Reliance who have decided to sign MoU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) with the state government promising to develop sports in the country.
Often sidelined sports such as hockey, swimming, weightlifting and athletics have been the primary focus area of the state government as the areas to make a key development in. Football is also an area of focus with the AIFF tying up with the government and setting up the base camp of the Indian Arrows in the city.
With such heavy emphasis on promoting sporting infrastructure and a goodwill soon building up due to hosting some major events, the state of Odisha is slowly raising its hands to call itself the sporting hub of the nation.
Facts and figures courtesy of moneycontrol.com