Mumbai, Sep 7: Symbolising the rise of Indian Hockey, a bespoke World Cup Collection for the National Men's Hockey team was unveiled on Friday (September 7), conceptualised by the brand strategist, Nupur Mahajan and designed by ace men's designer, Narendra Kumar.
The collection was showcased by the National Men's team along with their coach Harendra Singh in the presence of Hockey legends Ajit Pal Singh, Ashok Kumar, Dhanraj Pillay, Dilip Tirkey, Sandeep Singh among others. The World Cup Collection includes the official Primary and Secondary World Cup Match Kit and the India Blazer.
The new collection aims to arm the Indian Team with that booster dose of confidence as they prepare to bring the cup home. The design also encompasses the spirit of hockey being India's game and is representative of how the National Team's hearts beat for India.
PR Sreejesh, Captain of the National Men's Hockey Team said, "The focus of the team is only to bring glory to India. We are enthusiastic about the new jersey and I hope it adds to the inspiration quotient of the team. I appeal to all Indians to give their heartbeat to hockey and support us this World Cup. In return, we will give you our blood and sweat, and hopefully the World Cup."
The event saw stars and the audience alike queue up to pledge their heart beats for hockey. The showstopper at the launch was HeartBeat, the hockey stick that records heartbeats and is on a mission to collect a formidable number in the run-up to the world cup. In a bid to enhance the collection, the HeartBeats for Hockey digital platform was launched where pledging a heartbeat is now a click away. By logging on to the HeartBeats For Hockey microsite (www.heartbeatsforhockey.com) hockey lovers can pledge a heartbeat and immortalise their love for the game.
Elaborating on the design, Narendra Kumar said, "It was an honour to be asked to undertake this assignment for India and Indian Hockey. The inspiration of the design is Odisha. The motif is symbolic of the sun, from the Sun Temple of Konark, and the Konark Wheel. Odisha is where the sun rises in India and the sun in indeed rising on India and Indian hockey. It is this feeling of positivity and self-belief that the Collection aims to inspire in the Team."
Nupur Mahajan, creator of the Heartbeats for Hockey campaign said, "A national team feels like the national team when they have the support and love of the nation. The thought behind a bespoke World Cup Collection was to reinforce the belief of the National Hockey Team that they are indeed the chosen sons of India, and India stands behind them this World Cup. Their hearts truly beat for India, and central to the design is the Indian Tricolour around their heart, instilling a sense of pride and responsibility and also symbolising this sentiment."
The World Cup Collection Launch also saw a "Hockey Adda", a curated on-ground discussion platform for hockey players and experts, which aims to take hockey to people's living rooms and hearts. The session with the theme "Kal, Aaj, Kal", saw the participation by the current stars of the Men's Hockey team along with the legends at the event including Ajit Pal Singh, Captain of the 1975 World Cup Gold Medal winning team, Ashok Kumar, player in the same team and legendary Major Dhyan Chand's son and also the celebrated, former Captain Sandeep Singh among others.
Vishal Dev, Commissioner cum Secretary Department of Youth and Sports Services requested the media to support the Odisha Men's Hockey World Cup 2018, "This is the first in a series of major events planned in a run-up to the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup. The trajectory of Hockey as a sport in India has attained a new high given the performances of the Indian Hockey Teams in recent years. We urge one and all to come to Odisha and support your hockey team." Mr. Dev also extended an invitation to all gathered to join them at the Kalinga Stadium Inauguration scheduled for 14th October 2018.
Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmed, Secretary General, Hockey India said, "We are very happy to see the initiatives taken by the Government of Odisha to launch the Heartbeats for Hockey campaign ahead of the much-awaited Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. This will provide a much-needed incentive to our team and their spirits to bring their best performance forth and make the country proud."
The Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 will be the 14th edition of the biggest tournament in Men's Hockey and the third time that India will be hosting it after having organised it in 1982 in Bombay and in 2010 in New Delhi.
A total of sixteen nations will take part in the tournament which will see each team play three matches during the league stage over the span of twelve days before four cross-over matches take place on 10th and 11th December 2018.
The knockout matches will take place on 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th as the teams will look to become the Champions of the prestigious quadrennial event which was won by Australia in 2014.