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Odisha: The Hockey Capital of India

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Odisha, known as the hockey capital of India, has a strong tradition in the sport of hockey, which is also the national sports of the country. The state government has invested heavily in promoting the sport, including the building of modern hockey stadiums like the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, which was specifically built to host the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup. This international-standard stadium is considered one of the best in the country and has also hosted several other major tournaments.

Through this blog, I have tried to relate philately with Odisha as the hockey capital of India. It showcases the state’s commitment to the sport through the release of a special Hockey World Cup stamp and pictorial postmarks for the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup.

Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2018

To commemorate the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup, India Post released a special “Hockey World Cup stamp” which features the Kalinga Stadium.

FDC of Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018
FDC of Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

This stamp was released to celebrate the achievements of Indian athletes and to promote sports in the country. The “Hockey World Cup stamp” serves as a symbol of Odisha’s commitment to the sport of hockey and its important role in promoting the game on the national and international stage.

Brochure of Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018
Brochure of Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018

FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023

After successful planning and execution of World Cup 2018, Odisha had been chosen as the host for the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup consecutively for 2nd time, which was held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium in Rourkela. This was a testament to the state’s commitment to the sport of hockey and its ability to host major international tournaments. The state government had worked hard to ensure that the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup was a success and that it left a lasting legacy for the sport in the state and the country. The state had prepared to make this event grand and a memorable one, with the best of infrastructure, facilities, and hospitality.

The Department of Posts, Odisha circle, released two special pictorial postmarks on the first day of the world cup, 13th January 2023 to commemorate the occasion of the 2023 Men’s Hockey World Cup. These postmarks were proposed by the Department of Posts and designed by Mr. Manash Das and depict important things related to the FIH Odisha Hockey World Cup 2023.

Special Pictorial Postmark Released at Rourkela H.O.

One of the postmarks, released at Rourkela, depicts the newly established Birsa Munda International Hockey Stadium along with the mascot Olly.

Commemorative cover with Hockey World Cup 2023 postmark posted from Rourkela H.O.
Commemorative cover with Hockey World Cup 2023 postmark posted from Rourkela H.O.

The postmark captures the excitement and anticipation of the tournament as it showcases the state-of-the-art stadium that was built to host the event. The mascot Olly, representing the spirit of the tournament, adds a playful touch to the postmark.

Special Pictorial Postmark Released at Bhubaneswar G.P.O.

The other postmark, released at Bhubaneswar, depicts the world cup trophy and the mascot Olly playing hockey.

Commemorative cover with Hockey World Cup 2023 postmark posted from Bhubaneswar GPO.
Commemorative cover with Hockey World Cup 2023 postmark posted from Bhubaneswar GPO.
Commercially cover with Hockey World Cup 2023 postmark posted from Bhubaneswar GPO.
Commercially cover with Hockey World Cup 2023 postmark posted from Bhubaneswar GPO.

This postmark captures the essence of the tournament, the ultimate prize and the spirit of the game. The image of the mascot Olly playing hockey is a fitting representation of the passion and love for the sport that the tournament aims to promote. The release of these postmarks is a special way to commemorate the occasion and to mark the significance of this major international event in the state of Odisha.

The state of Odisha has also produced many talented players who have represented the national team, including several legendary players such as Dilip Tirkey, Ignace Tirkey, and Prabodh Tirkey.

Field hockey players from Odisha[1]

Michael Kindo
Michael Kindo
Dilip Tirkey
Dilip Tirkey
Lazarus Barla
Lazarus Barla
Binita Toppo
Binita Toppo
Roshan Minz
Roshan Minz
Subhadra Pradhan
Subhadra Pradhan
Jyoti Sunita Kullu
Jyoti Sunita Kullu
Sunita Lakra
Sunita Lakra
Ignace Tirkey
Ignace Tirkey
Prabodh Tirkey
Prabodh Tirkey
Deep Grace Ekka
Deep Grace Ekka
Birendra Lakra
Birendra Lakra
William Xalco
William Xalco
Nilam Sanjeep Xess
Nilam Sanjeep Xess
William Xalco
William Xalco
Shilanand Lakra
Shilanand Lakra
Punam Barla
Punam Barla
Namita Toppo
Namita Toppo
Dipsan Tirkey
Dipsan Tirkey
Lilima Minz
Lilima Minz
Amit Rohidas
Amit Rohidas

The state government’s support for the sport has helped to create a steady stream of young talent and will continue to be a key place for the development of hockey in India. Overall, Odisha’s efforts have not only left a lasting legacy for the sport in the state but also on the national and international stage.

References:

  1. Field hockey players from Odisha

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