Jharkhand’s contribution to Indian hockey perhaps hasn’t quite hogged the desired limelight. But one pocket – Simdega promises to be the next big hockey hub – it has produced the likes of Michael Kindo (1972 Munich Olympics bronze medallist and a member of the 1975 World Cup-winning team), Sylvanus Dung Dung (member of the gold-winning 1980 Moscow Olympics, Sumrai Tete (former skipper and member of the 2002 gold-winning Commonwealth Games team), Bimal Lakra (member of the 2002 silver-winning Asian Games team), his younger sister and former Indian captain Asunta Lakra, and Salima Tete (member of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics women team that finished fourth).
The fact that Simdega is panning out to be a steady supply line to the national team) especially the women’s team) is not lost out on anybody. Apart from Salima Tete, Simdega has seen the likes of Sangita Kumar who made her senior international debut in the 2022 Pro League as well as featuring in the 2022 Junior Women’s Hockey World Cup in South Africa alongside Beauty Dungdung. That’s not all, the likes of Pramodini Lakra, Rajni Kerketta, Mahima Tete, Deepika Soreng and Kajal Bara have been part of the national junior camp.
There is no doubt that Simdega is awash with precious hockey talents and all that is going to get a big boost with the Jharkhand government lining up plans to build an international hockey stadium in Simdega. The new international-level stadium will be constructed adjacent to the Astroturf Hockey Stadium. The foundation stone of the international hockey stadium was laid by Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in October last year. The stadium is being built at an estimated cost of Rs 14 crore. It is learnt that the stadium would be built keeping in mind all the international standards and is expected to have modern facilities such as changing rooms for players, gym, room for doctors and coaches as well as a huge podium near the stadium. The new stadium would have a seating capacity for three thousand spectators.
“Simdega’s contribution to national hockey is immense and the construction of the international hockey stadium would be a massive boost for the district. We are expecting construction work to kickstart this year and hopefully the stadium would be up and running next year,” says Hockey Simdega President Manoj Konbegi, in a telephonic chat with Hockey Passion.
It may be worth recalling that the existing Astroturf Hockey Stadium that was thrown open for hockey players in 2015 had host the 11th Hockey India Junior Women Nationals in October last year and it was a great organisational success.