Union Petroleum Minister Inaugurates 3rd Hockey India Senior Women Inter Department National Championship

The tournament is being hosted by Indian Oil Corporation Limited

In a sporting environment and thrilling atmosphere, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Housing and Urban Affairs inaugurated the 3rd Hockey India Senior Women Inter Department National Championship 2023 and the tournament trophy at Shivaji Stadium. The opening ceremony and the trophy unveiling was graced by Shri Pankaj Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Shri Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, Chairman IndianOil and Shri Bholanath, General Secretary, Hockey India along with Indian hockey legends like Ajit Pal Singh and Zaffar Iqbal. The tournament is being hosted by Indian Oil Corporation Limited.

In his address, Shri Hardeep Puri congratulated Indian women team players who recently emerged victorious in the Asian Women Hockey Championship. He wished all the members of eight participating hockey teams for a grand tournament.

Shri Puri said, “Today you are playing here in Inter-Department Senior Women’s Tournament, but tomorrow, many of you shall be representing India and emerge as world champions and world beaters. On our part, we shall leave no stone unturned to provide the best of the facilities and environment for our girls so that they shine on international platform.”

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pankaj Jain remembered his old days when he served as a medical volunteer during the 1982 Asian Games hockey matches at the very same Shivaji Stadium. “I was a young boy at that time and the memories remain carved with me. You all are role models for many girls and many youngsters. You are inspiring the coming generation with your performance and there is hope and happiness in their eyes because of you”, said Shri Jain, inspiring and encouraging the young hockey players of eight teams.

Shri Shrikant Madhav, Chairman, IndianOil promised all possible help not only to the women’s hockey but also to other sports. “We understand the responsibility and have always stepped up whenever asked. We have formed a team of young hockey players and I hope others will soon follow giving a lot of opportunities to our star female players,” said Mr Vaidya.

In his address, Mr Bhola Nath Singh, General Secretary of Hockey India, wished the young girls all the best for the tournament. Buoyed by the support from different sectors for the women’s hockey, he said that the day is not far when the women’s hockey team would come with a medal from the Olympics.

At the event, historian and author of hockey in India, Sh K Armugum was honoured for his contribution to the game. Twenty-Five girls from his NGO, One Thousand Hockey Legs (OTHL) were give brand new Hockey sticks by the Hon’ble Minister and the dignitaries present.

The championship promises to be a thrilling showcase of top-tier talent, with eight of the best women’s teams from across the nation participating. Among the participants, more 12 players have proudly represented India on the international stage, bringing a wealth of experience and skill to the tournament. The eight-team participating in the tournament are All Indian Police Sports Control Board, Railway Sports Promotion Board, UCO Bank, Sports Authority of India, Union Bank of India, Sashastra Seema Bal, Tamil Nadu Police and the host Indian Oil Corporation-Women.

The trophy unveiling and opening ceremony marked the official commencement of this prestigious championship, celebrating the spirit of sportsmanship and promoting women’s hockey at the highest level.

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