Hockey players shake a leg, share experiences at Fan Village in Odisha

Bhubaneswar,  The hockey players, who are showing their mesmerising skills on the ground in the Men’s Hockey World Cup, entertained the fans with their dancing skills at Kalinga Stadium here on Tuesday.

The participating teams visited the Fan Village and shared their experience, likings for different Indian foods and journey so far with the spectators. While they shook a leg on several Bollywood numbers, they also took selfies with the fans.

The Fan Village set up in an area of 18,000 square meters has been designed to keep the visitors engaged in various activities.

The players of South Africa, Belgium and India visited the village on Tuesday.

“It’s nice to see that people here are more interested in sports much more than Europe. It is amazing while interacting with the people and participating in the event,” Belgian player Simon Gougnard told IANS.

Some Belgian players shared their liking for the Indian foods including chicken and paneer.

“Although the Indian foods are little spicy, I like these. I like black dal and butter chicken,” said Arthur Van Doren.

The Indian players, who visited the Fan Village with their chief coach Harendra Singh, also shared their experiences with the audience.

“I feel very happy being here. This is not the first tournament I am playing here. I have already played two tournaments here. The support of the crowd is amazing. It is like the second home for us. The support of the crowd works like a 12th player. They are very friendly,” said Indian hockey team captain Manpreet Singh.

The Indian team was accorded a grand welcome at the Odisha Police stall at the Fan Village.

The Indian hockey team on Tuesday visited seabeach in pilgrim town Puri and played football.

“We feel relaxed and we are enjoying the gap time. We went to Puri and spent some time there. We also played football on the beach,” said Birendra Lakra.

He said visiting the Fan Village and interacting with the hockey fans was amazing.

Pool D teams Malaysia, The Netherlands and Germany will visit the Fan Village on December 6. France, New Zealand, Argentina and Spain will visit on December 7 while China, England, Ireland and defending world champions Australia will pay a visit to meet their fans on December 8.

There are plenty of other activities in the Fan Village with activities that range from anti-gravity photo booth which lets people click gravity-defying photos in a hockey stadium ambience while those who wish to take a 360 degree photo can do so at the 360 degree photo booth.

The massive fan village also features several eatery stalls including those of local specialities like the Odisha Millet Missions for those who prefer to eat healthy.

The organisers have also created a three-a-side hockey turf for those who feel inspired by their favourite stars playing the prestigious event and wish to emulate the action on a mini-turf.