Narendrapur, January 4, 2021: Subrat Behera from Khaliberana and Bikash Patra from Sarapa villages of Dhenkanal district, mentored under Tata Steel Meramandali’s sport’s initiative, participated as a part of Odisha Junior Volleyball Team in the 47th Junior National Volleyball Championshipheldat Shri Aurobinda Stadium in the Burdwan District of West Bengal.
Both players along with other local youths from villages located around the plant at Narendrapur in Dhenkanal district have been undergoing volleyball coaching from Ashutosh Patra, a national level coach, engaged by the CSR wing of Tata SteelMeramandali for the last three years.
The Tata Steel trainees competed with 200 players from the entire state in the selection process held at Bhubaneswar guided by the district sports department. The rigour of the training received at the company coaching centre helped them earn a berth in the state team. A total of 10 players coached under Tata Steel’s CSR initiative were sent from Dhenkanal for the selection trial and were selected for the district level team.
Recounting his experience of the championship, Subrat said, ‘It was a great opportunity for us to participate at a national level event where there was so much to learn. It will help us in our journey ahead in this game and in our careers.
Thanking his coach Shri Patra for moulding him as a professional player, Bikash said, “It was the mentoring of the experienced coach that helped me reach the national level of this sporting event. Now I dream of representing Odisha in the senior team as well, in future.”
The steel major has been mentoring close to 500 local youths in volleyball, both in junior and senior categories, for the last 3 years from villages around its plant. Besides balls, nets and other sporting equipment are also being provided to the players.