The iconic Kalinga Hockey Stadium will host the tournament.© PTI
A total of 14 teams will vie for top honours at the 1st Hockey India junior women academy national championship 2021, while 10 teams will compete in the 1st Hockey India sub-junior women academy national championship 2021 that gets underway from Wednesday in Bhubaneswar. With the two tournaments being held at the iconic Kalinga Hockey Stadium which has hosted numerous landmark international tournaments including the prestigious FIH Men’s World Cup in 2018, the participants are eagerly awaiting to demonstrate their skills at the world-class stadia.
Welcoming Hockey India’s initiative to host an exclusive championship for academies, Pradeep Kumar Sarangi, Coach, SAI -Academy, said: “Organising a National Championship exclusively for academies is a very good step taken by Hockey India. It provides a great opportunity for young and upcoming players and creates healthy competition against different academies. Our players are very excited to play here at the Kalinga stadium.”
Having created several top women players including Junior India Women’s Captain Suman Devi Thoudam, the Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy has been touted as the favourites. But their coach Paramjit Singh remained modest about their chances.
“Firstly, I feel this is a fantastic opportunity to better ourselves for the future. Earlier academies would have a small group of players where the same players would end up playing two or three championships a year,” said coach Paramjit Singh.
“With Hockey India introducing new rules where a player can participate only in one tournament, it will ensure academies will work on creating a larger group of players in the sub-junior and junior categories. Though this year, due to the pandemic, we have not been able to bring our strongest teams, we will know how to plan for this tournament and create good players at the grassroots.”
The 1st Hockey India Sub-Junior Women Academy National Championship 2021 will have six days of pool matches followed by semi-finals on March 24. The match to decide the bronze and gold medallists will take place on March 25.
Whereas the 1st Hockey India Junior Women Academy National Championship 2021 will have six days of pool matches followed by the semi-finals on March 25 and the final as well as the bronze medal playoff will be held on March 26.
Topics mentioned in this article