Lucknow's Padmashree Mohd. Shahid Stadium to be developed as a centre of excellence for hockey

This step will help to nurture local talent and develop an aptitude for sports in the state, which has a rich history in the game of hockey.

A residential centre of excellence in hockey will soon be established in Lucknow, in a bid to promote the national sport across Uttar Pradesh. Centred at the Padma Shri Mohd Shahid Synthetic Stadium, this advanced academy will be the first of its kind in the state. The UP Director of Sports informed that players who have already appeared in prominent leagues, such as the nationals, will receive training here.


State-of-the-art facilities at the excellence centre of hockey in Lucknow

The Union Sports Ministry and the UP state government believe that this step will help to nurture local talent and develop an aptitude for sports in the state, which has a rich history in the game of hockey. UP has given the country a few of its most iconic hockey players, including Dhyan Chand and Kunwar Digvijay Singh 'Babu'. Accordingly, the city centre was approved by the Center of Excellence under the One Day State One Game Scheme.

The state-run residential centre of excellence in Lucknow at the Padma Shri Mohd Shahid Synthetic Stadium, will include a 100-bed hostel facility, 50 each for boys and girls, modern sports medicine, physiotherapy centres. Presently, district-level hockey training is provided to all players, at KD Singh Babu Stadium's hostel and Sai Center.

The state director of UP sports informed that the association is in the process of starting the construction of the hostel here. He also highlighted that the premises already have a flood-lit hockey stadium here since 2016, when Lucknow hosted the Junior Men's Hockey World Cup.

Besides these facilities, the centre will also institute top coaches to be a part to professionally train and guide the players here. The Union Sports Ministry has decided to fund this centre as it can facilitate services for several sports besides hockey, such as tennis, badminton and squash. The reigns of this institute will be held under the authority of the Uttar Pradesh Sports Directorate, who will run it in consultation with Uttar Pradesh Hockey.

Training institutes in Lucknow aim to become the talent hub for Indian teams at international events

Accordingly, the Centre of Excellence has also approved a facility at Lucknow, under the 'One State, One Game' Scheme.

With the first sanction coming in for hockey, the state has jumped with vigour to develop facilities to offer excellence in the same. Parallelly, the Uttar Pradesh Sports Directorate plans to develop centres for athletics and badminton at the Guru Gobind Singh Sports College in Lucknow.

The Head of Hockey India's high-performance committee, stated that once all these various sports centres in Lucknow start running properly, they will soon provide India with a vast talent pool, with the aim to become feeders to the Indian national teams for international events like Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championships.

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Sanjay Saraswat, Executive Director, Sai Center said, "Under the Khelo India scheme, a pool of 20 to 30 players will be prepared in KD Singh Babu. In this, 7 lakh rupees will be released annually by the central government, which will be spent on coaching." Besides Lucknow, the scheme will cover all 75 districts in Uttar Pradesh to culture sports activities at par with global standards.

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