Bhubaneswar: Odisha will continue to sponsor Indian hockey teams for another 10 years, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced here while felicitating the Indian national Hockey teams at Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday.
Both Men’s and women’s Olympic hockey heroes who scripted history, with their brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics were felicitated at a ceremony befitting the Olympic hockey heroes.
In recognition of their achievement and their potential to be the top teams in the world, Patnaik felicitated Captain Rani Rampal and the women’s team and also felicitated the inspirational Captain Manpreet Singh and the men’s team for bagging a bronze which was no less than gold for India.
Each player was awarded Rs 10 Lakh and each support staff was awarded Rs 5 lakhs by the Chief Minister. As a token of regard and appreciation, each team gifted a framed Jersey autographed by the players to the Chief Minister.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said, “You made us all so proud with your spirited fight at Tokyo. These are deeply emotional moments for India to witness the revival of Indian Hockey.”
Patnaik said the way the entire country was glued to the screens to watch the Hockey teams’ matches, it is quite evident there is something more to hockey than just sports. In the background of the Covid pandemic, it is remarkable that our teams have worked so hard in spite of all challenges and emerged victoriously, he remarked.
Patnaik said the teams have brought smiles on the faces of crores of Indians and “ We all should be thankful to our boys and girls,” he added.
The Chief Minister further said, “We, in Odisha, are elated that our partnership with Hockey India has led to this great achievement for the country.”
“We will continue our partnership with Hockey India and Odisha will support the Indian Hockey teams for 10 more years, he said, stating that this will herald a new era of Indian Hockey and bring back the glory to the nation,” he said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, also gave away 13 awards each with a cash award of Rs 5 lakh. In the men’s team, Harmanpreet Singh won the Player with the maximum number of goals scored, PR Sreejesh won the Player with the maximum number of goals saved, Nilakanta Sharma won the Player with the maximum number of goal assists, Rupinder Pal Singh won the Player with the maximum number of defensive tackles and Harmanpreet Singh and Amit Rohidas for Player with maximum interceptions in the midfield.
In the Women’s team, Gurjit Kaur and Vandana Katariya won the Player with the maximum number of goals scored, Savita Punia won the Player with the maximum number of goals saved, Rani Rampal and Navneet Kaur jointly won the Player with the maximum number of goal assists,
Deep Grace Ekka won the Player with the maximum number of defensive tackles and P Sushila Chanu for Player with maximum interceptions in the midfield.
Indian Olympic Association President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra who has played a key role in the development of Olympic sports and sportspersons and in the revival of hockey in India and the prominence of Hockey around the globe was also felicitated by the Chief Minister.
Patnaik also felicitated Odia doctor, Col. (DR). Bibhu Kalyan Nayak who was appointed as the first Indian FIH Medical Officer for Tokyo Olympics and awarded him Rs 5 lakhs at the ceremony.
Chief Minister Patnaik felicitated President, Hockey India, Gyanendro Ningombam, Secretary General, Hockey India, Rajinder Singh, CEO, Hockey India, Elena Norman and the entire Hockey India staff and awarded Rs. 50 Lakhs to the Federation.