Its international show time for a sporting Jharkhand

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Its international show time for a sporting Jharkhand

Thursday, 15 February 2024 | Dhiraj Kumar & Anupam Sheshank

Its international show time for a sporting Jharkhand

What Jharkhand Government  sowed by bringing a new sports policy in 2022 has started bearing fruit by catapulting Jharkhand into the firmament of myriad of sports events at national and international levels. Kudos to the Jharkhand Government  which  had left no stones unturned to ensure young  talent from the state no longer remain backwards in the area of Sports, say Dhiraj Kumar & Anupam Sheshank!

Its not just MS Dhoni and Robin Minz in Jharkhand anymore. Even Slyvanus Dundung or Salima Tete and hockey being synonymous with Jharkhand Sports is not the case anymore!

What Jharkhand Government  sowed by bringing a new sports policy in 2022 has started bearing fruit by catapulting Jharkhand into the firmament of myriad of sports events at national and international levels. Kudos to the Jharkhand Government headed by Chief Minister Champai Soren,  which  has left no stones unturned to ensure young  talent from the state no longer remain backwards in the area of Sports!

The trust that was given towards development of sports in Jharkhand as well as for inculcating sports as culture and a way of life is now showing fruition. Consistent efforts are being made for enhancement of sports in the state in the past four years.  This has resulted in the capital city of Ranchi hosting the Olympic Women Hockey Qualifier Matches in the first fortnight of the first month of 2024! The prestigious Qualifier being held at Ranchi is a testimony to the fact that Jharkhand has come a long way in the last four years under the able leadership of ex- chief minister Hemant Soren and present chief minister Champai Soren!

Jharkhand took a stride towards achieving a “Swasthya and Khushaal Jharkhand” by launching the Jharkhand Sports Policy 2022 by the then chief minister Hemant Soren on September 13, 2022, paving the way for budding sportspersons of the state. The new Sports Policy 2022, seeks inclusion of the sportspersons hailing from the remotest of locations of the state and reflects the efforts of the then Chief Minister to project Jharkhand as a storehouse of talent.

While launching the new sports policy, the then CM had said paucity of resources has never been a deterrent for the talented players of the State and despite all the odds Jharkhand sportspersons have made the people of state proud at various national and international levels. And rightly, the new sports policy was a shot in the arm!

The progressive policies, stadiums, and training facilities of the neighboring state of Odisha have earned it a reputation as a hub for athletes and sportspeople. However, in the last couple of years Jharkhand has rapidly emerged as the powerhouse of sports in India. After identifying shortcomings in the previous sports policy from 2007, Jharkhand Government unveiled a transformational sports policy, with the goal of fostering an inclusive sports culture across the state. The state government’s new strategy exemplified its efforts to develop Jharkhand into a progressive state focusing on sports amongst other social initiatives. The foundation to turn government’s vision into reality was established as early as 2020 when the CMO posted on X (Twitter), ‘The Sports Policy 2020 was reviewed with the concept of Healthy Jharkhand, Happy Jharkhand. Chief Minister Shri @HemantSorenJMM has instructed us to prioritize the sports played in the state to identify talent. The aim is to train and prepare the talents for national and international level’ on 17th July 2020.

Jharkhand has gained recognition for the exceptional talent of M.S. Dhoni and the presence of cricket stadiums around the state. However, the present government was determined to promote the state’s resources to support a diverse range of sports in addition to cricket. Inspired by the involvement of the National Women’s Hockey team athletes from Jharkhand in the Tokyo Olympics (2020), the state government  developed an ambitious sports programme that allowed the youth of Jharkhand to embrace sports as a lifestyle.

Jharkhand Government ’s distinguished foresight ensures that individuals of all ages, including boys, girls, youth, and citizens, in the state have sufficient opportunities to incorporate sports into their lives and actively participate in various activities. This will enable talented athletes to excel nationally and internationally in their chosen sports discipline. The aim is to identify promising talent and provide comprehensive training to foster their growth and ultimately cultivate them into future champions.

The policy additionally involves enhancing and cultivating the skills & abilities of athletes in the state, transforming sports into an appealing and feasible professional choice, utilizing sports as a driving force for societal transformation and advancement at both the local and state levels, and advocating for sports and physical activities for individuals of all age groups. The goals include establishing a sports-friendly atmosphere, compiling a comprehensive player database, offering resources that meet international standards, advocating for indigenous and traditional sports, promoting sports tourism, and ensuring equitable chances for disabled players.

The State Government’s ambitious sports policy involves a comprehensive strategy to improve potential among athletes at the Panchayat, Block, District, and State levels. The plan aims to provide athletes with scholarships, insurance benefits, and a pension programme for retired players. It also aims to systematically implement top-notch recreational areas in each region around the state and construct a day-boarding facility, sports stadium center, residential sports development center, and Eklavya Sports Academy to cater to the state’s athletes.

Coherent with the successive Chief Ministers’ prescience, the state administration has also shown nimbleness in organizing national and international sporting events in Jharkhand, serving as evidence of the government’s novel sports initiatives. It was a proud moment for Jharkhand Government  to host the Women’s FIH Olympic Qualifiers 2024, which is the final stage of the women’s field hockey event qualification at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Ranchi between 13th and 19th January 2024. The Jharkhand Government had officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in collaboration with Hockey India to host the event at the Jaipal Singh Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Marang Gomke, Ranchi. This prestigious event is one of the three Olympics Qualifiers happened globally, with counterparts in Muscat, Oman (Men’s) and Valencia, Spain (Women’s and Men’s).

The event, in which the Jharkhand Government had announced free entry for spectators, was originally slated to be held in China, but Hockey India requested FIH to shift the venue to India after China directly qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics. This was the second international event organized by Hockey India in Ranchi within three months after successfully organizing the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy in October-November 2023. The Hockey India President, Dr. Dilip Tirkey, expressed profound enthusiasm, stating, “Together, we aimed to deliver a memorable and successful tournament, promoting the spirit of hockey and fostering international camaraderie,” while lauding the state government for its proactive approach.

Foundation for digitization of sports had been laid in Jharkhand under the present JMM-Congress-RJD dispensation and efforts are being made to hone the talents of sportspersons and foster best sports practices in the state.

Nation’s first digital portal dedicated for sports and sportspersons has been launched in Jharkhand. Under the direction of the then Chief Minister, Johar Khiladi Sports Integrated Portal had been launched for the overall development of sports and sportspersons of the state. With the aim to position Jharkhand as a nursery for sports and to imbibe a sports culture in the state, this portal is one of a kind initiative across the country that shall be monumental to hone the budding talent present in the state. The State Government was  taking consistent strides to provide speed and strength to sports.  Jharkhand Government is securing a better tomorrow for sports and players.  Players are  being given all possible support to ensure better performance.

Jharkhand Government’s towering vision for the state’s youth and sportspeople is poised to make Jharkhand the pivotal state for the future of sports in India under the able leadership of Chief Minister Champai Soren!

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