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Naveen writes to PM, demands national game status to Hockey

Bhubaneswar, June 20, 2018: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accord ‘National Game’ status to Hockey, as a fitting tribute to the great players who made India proud.

In a letter to the Modi, Patnaik said, “Till 1980’s, India’s presence on international sports arena was marked by its brilliance in Hockey. Crores of Indians rejoiced every time Team India became victorious and our national anthem was played. Hockey has become part of Indian psyche.”

“Cutting across different strata of society and regions, across rural-urban divide, Hockey is immensely popular as a sport today. In tribal areas of states like Odisha and Jharkhand, hockey is more than a sport, it is a way of life. To promote the same, Odisha Government is sponsoring Indian National hockey teams for next five years, in a first-of-its-kind sponsorship by a State.” wrote Patnaik.

The Chief Minister stated that the decision to notify Hockey as India’s National Game will bring joy to crores of hockey fans in the country, ahead of Odisha Men's Hockey World Cup 2018. He affirmed that it will not only be a tribute to Hockey greats but also serve as an inspiration to our future generations.

“As you know Sir, the next World Cup Hockey will be held Odisha in November this year. While reviewing the preparations, I was surprised and shocked to know that what is popularly known as the National Game - Hockey, has in fact never been notified as our National Game," Patnaik wrote in his letter.

“Hence I am sure you will agree with the crores loving fans of our country - that Hockey truly deserves to be notified as our National Game. This will be fitting tribute to the great Hockey players who have made our country proud," said Patnaik.

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