Bhubaneswar Buzz

What keeps Odisha migrants connected to their roots, answer Sunday Hockey

Hockey practice odisha migrant hindustan times

The fear of being overrun is always there, given the mushrooming of cricket and football academies in the Capital. But a few enthusiasts from Odisha are keeping the game of hockey alive.

Bonny Minz migrated to Delhi from the tribal region of Sundargarh a decade ago in search of livelihood. He was into part-time jobs to support the family before finding regular employment.

The hardships though didn’t diminish Minz’s desire to spend the weekends playing hockey.

He wields the hockey stick in a DDA park in Mayur Vihar every Sunday, as the Mayur Club, made up of migrants like him, practice in worn-out jerseys with an equally old ball.

Born in early 2000, the club now has over 30 members, and irrespective of the weather, members make it a point to spend Sunday on the playfield.

Minz, 30, who joined the club in 2012, says he wants his four-year-old son to take up hockey. “Due to family problems I had to quit hockey in school. Things are better now. I have enough to support my child,” he says.

Hockey was to be a vehicle for Minz and friends to land a good job. Opportunities through the sports quota are few and their background makes it tougher. Minz may have failed to make it, but he has hope for his son.

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