Bhubaneswar: Applauding the state government’s initiative to host the first-of-its-kind two-day Ekamra Sports Literary Festival in the Capital city from November 2, former India men’s hockey captain Dilip Tirkey said that the event will serve as a great platform to promote as well as develop sports activities in Odisha.
“It’s a great honour for our state to host some of the globally celebrated sports personalities during these two days. It’s a great platform for promoting and developing sports in our state. Especially with the senior men’s Hockey World Cup round the corner, the Ekamra Sports Literary Festival will prove to be a boon for the sports lovers,” Dilip, who is himself one of the speakers at the event, told Orissa Post over phone from Rourkela, Wednesday.
“I personally thank Sundeep Mishra (author and sports journalist) along with the state government, the Sports department in particular, for organising the mega event in the city. I am sure it will be a huge success and a milestone in Odisha’s sports arena.”
According to Dilip, the event will present the youngsters with a great opportunity to learn from the experiences of some great sporting personalities of today as well as yesteryears.
“It will be a great opportunity for the budding sportspersons and the youngsters who are already into sports or planning to take up sports as a career because they will get to hear their idols speak on their respective struggles and successes. Their stories will not only be interesting, but also inspiring,” the former Rajya Sabha member added.
“The motivation and encouragement the youngsters will get will be a huge bonus for them and help them to prepare their roadmap. The event will also act as a major learning experience for many coaches who will be in the audience,” Dilip said.
Speaking about the Indian men’s hockey team, who are in red hot form in the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) scoring as many as 27 goals in the tournament so far, Dilip said, “Though we won bronze medal at the Jakarta Asian Games, we defeated the Asian Games champion Japan 9-0 in the ACT. It proves that we are not only a better team, but can also be a threat to any team in the world.”
Dilip, however, tried to duck when he was asked about Amit Rohidas’ exclusion from the ACT squad. “Technically it’s the team management’s call and I am not in a position to comment on the issue. However, Amit is already among the prospective India players and I am sure that he will make it to the World Cup team,” he signed off.