Odisha To Sponsor Indian Hockey Teams For 10 More Years
Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced that his government would sponsor the national hockey teams for another 10 years after 2023.
The CM made this announcement about extending the support while felicitating the Indian women’s and men’s hockey teams, which arrived to a rousing welcome in Bhubaneswar this morning after their historic feat in.
“I believe, Odisha and Hockey are destined to become synonymous. We will continue our partnership with Hockey India. Odisha will support the Indian Hockey teams for 10 more years. This will herald a new era of Indian Hockey and bring back the glory to the nation,” he said.
Notably, the Odisha government had signed a ₹100 crore deal with Hockey India in 2018 to sponsor the men’s and women’s hockey teams over the next 5 years.
On the occasion, Naveen 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 medal in hockey after 41 years.
Each player was awarded Rs 10 lakh and each support staff Rs 5 lakh.
As a token of appreciation, each team was gifted a framed Jersey autographed by the players to the Chief Minister.
“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. For nearly four decades, hockey fans have been yearning to see India grab a medal at the Olympics. 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,” the CM said.
He said that the teams worked very hard despite all challenges, including the COVID pandemic, and emerged victorious.
“In these crisis times, the teams have brought smiles to the faces of crores of Indians. We all should be thankful to our boys and girls,” the CM added.
Naveen gave away 13 awards. 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 goals 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.
Each was awarded Rs 5 lakh.
The CM also felicitated Indian Olympic Association president Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra, who 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.
Odia doctor, Col. (DR). Bibhu Kalyan Nayak, who was appointed as the first Indian FIH Medical Officer for Tokyo Olympics, was awarded Rs 5 lakh at the ceremony.
President, Hockey India, Gyanendro Ningombam, Secretary General, Hockey India, Rajinder Singh, CEO, Hockey India, Elena Norman and the entire Hockey India staff were also felicitated and the federation awarded Rs. 50 lakh.