Rourkela (Odisha), Dec 10:
Vice President Hamid Ansari on Saturday inaugurated the Biju Patnaik Rural Hockey Tournament which will see over 1400 teams from Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh competing for the title from December 16 to March 17.
Inaugurating the event, organised by former national team captain and tribal sporting icon Dilip Tirkey, at the SAIL Hockey Stadium, Ansari said the sport is the soul, air and water in these regions.
He also said that hockey will get a further boost through this tournament which will be competed among the teams coming from the villages.
The tournament will take place at 32 venues.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram were also present during the event. (IANS)