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Odisha Sports Model: A State of Sporting Excellence | Analyzing Sporting Revolution of Odisha- Case Study

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Odisha, a small state located in the North-Eastern part of India has made India proud with its astounding achievements in Sports. It brought a revolution that changed the dynamics of the state. It has set up an example for other states across the country to follow the ‘Odisha sports model’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has appreciated the state’s growth in sports and has instructed the union government’s sports department to follow Odisha’s lead in raising the country’s sporting prominence. The sports model of Odisha helped the state to achieve many milestones in the world of sports.

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Hockey is an integral part of sports in Odisha. Every other house in the remotest village of Odisha passionately follows hockey. There was hardly any infrastructure in Odisha ten years ago except the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack. It was much like any other state that didn’t care about sports and provided little support and help to athletes.

Since Navin Patnaik took over as the Chief Minister of Orissa, Orissa has been at forefront of the sports revolution in India. The untiring efforts and great strategic planning from the authorities have made Orissa the ‘Sports Capital of India’. The seeds of hard work put in the last decade are bearing fruits in the last 2-3 years. In this blog, we will look at how Odisha achieved excellence in sports with the help of a proper sports model and how it is inspiring other states as well.

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What is Odisha Sports Model?

It all started in 2013 when the state decided to buy a team in the Indian Hockey League and named it Kalinga Lancers. Later, the state signed an MOU with leading corporate houses in India to bring a new model of High-Performance Centres (HPC).

The visionary government of Odisha built a perfect model “Odisha model” which is a unique partnership between the federations, corporates, and sportspersons with a common vision of achieving sporting excellence.

This unique collaboration has been monumental in the growth of sports and athletes in the state and has created a holistic ecosystem with exemplary and admirable sports infrastructure.

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Also, the High-Performance Centers were built inside the Kalinga Stadium which provided the facility for the overall development of players. 

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Understanding High-Performance Centres (HPCs)

Money is the driving force to enhance the quality of facilities and the development of infrastructure. Sports have always been short on cash and revenue. However, when large corporations and industrialists come together with the government, change occurs.

The HPCs, which operate on a PPP (Public-Private Partnership) basis, are unique in India. While the state government provides the facilities but all other costs, from player accommodations to onboarding coaches, are funded by the corporates. Thus, players can play freely without focusing on financial issues and unnecessary stress.

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Luxurious provisions are set up even at the grassroots levels. From scouting to identifying talents, coaches and trainers impart high-level training to these talented players.

Representatives travel to several areas in Odisha and organize training programs for a few days. The finest players from these centers are scouted and selected for Bhubaneswar’s HPCs.

The HPCs provide players with first-class facilities. Finest facilities from food to finance are given to the players and coaches. The players have top doctors, physios, coaches, dieticians, and also masseurs by their side.

Top multinational companies like Tata, JSW, and Reliance have invested and partnered with the Odisha government to improve the standard of sporting facilities. 

Odisha Sports Model: Infrastructure & Facilities

Kalinga Stadium, Bhuvneshwar, Image Source- News 18

Infrastructure paves way for growth in any sector. Odisha’s infrastructure is perhaps the best in the whole nation. Kalinga Stadium is the best example of the quality of infrastructure in the state. 

According to the cultural sports played in particular parts of the state, the government has set up centers accordingly. Puri’s history of Malla Yoddhas and Akhadas makes it an ideal location for a wrestling promotion. Ganjam and Berhampur which are historically famous for weightlifting have indoor stadiums installed. 

Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, the Odisha government accepted the challenge of hosting the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup for men in a short period. While Guwahati and Lucknow were considered front-runners to host this huge event, however, Odisha was eventually assigned the duty of organizing it.

Odisha is no stranger to holding a tournament in a short period. The Asian Athletics Championship’s 90-day challenge in 2017 is still vivid in everyone’s memory. The Asian Athletics Championship was held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in 2017.

This was all possible due to immaculate planning and the readiness of infrastructural services which helped in the easy planning of the events.

Rourkela Stadium has an athletics track, football ground, commercial complex, and an indoor swimming pool. It has multi-level parking facilities and also other fitness-related facilities. 

A Sports Science Center has also been established within Kalinga Stadium, with renowned doctors and physicians hired.

  • The AIFF and the State Sports Department (DSYS) have collaborated on several coaching license programs. 

Odisha Football Club (FC) had established the goal to develop football at the grassroots level. Swimming, in addition to football, has been a primary priority for DSYS. The 62nd State Swimming Championship was recently held in the newly constructed all-weather Biju Patnaik swimming pool at Kalinga Stadium. A 10-day lifeguard training session was also held at the same location to help lifeguards who have been assigned to various swimming pools around the state so to become more professional.

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New Sports Centres & Upcoming Projects in Odisha

Odisha sports Model- KreedOn
India’s largest hockey stadium at Rourkela for World Cup 2023, Image Source- The Print

Kalinga Stadium is constructing India’s first 200m indoor athletic stadium. This will help players train irrespective of any unforeseen weather conditions.

The government is planning to develop infrastructure in different parts of the state. The state government has announced the construction of 89 Multi-Purpose Indoor Stadiums in various districts at a total cost of Rs. 693.35 crores. These stadiums will also serve as hospitals in the event of a medical emergency and as shelters in the event of a natural disaster.

Odisha is building India’s Largest hockey stadium with a capacity of 20,000 in Rourkela and is going to host the 2023 Hockey World Cup.

Recently, ahead of FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023, the Odisha government has enhanced the funding for the development of sports infrastructure at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela. The estimated cost for the project has been increased from Rs 432.45 crore to Rs 875.78 crore.


The story of the Odisha sports model is inspiring not just for other states but many countries. The success lies in uplifting the quality of sports right from the grassroots levels so that the players get all the facilities at a very young age. With all the efforts put in the last decade, Odisha will have a long-lasting impact on the rich sporting heritage of India and it will act as a pioneer in the sporting revolution of the country. 

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