Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Announces Further 10 Years Sponsorship for the Indian Hockey Teams
Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, today felicitated the Indian national Hockey teams that scripted history, with their brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics, at a ceremony befitting the Olympic hockey heroes. In recognition of their achievement and their potential to be the top teams in the world, Chief Minister announced that Odisha will continue to sponsor Indian hockey teams, for another 10 years.
Chief Minister felicitated Captain Rani Rampal and the women’s team and also felicitated the inspirational Captain, Manpreet Singh, and 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. 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.
“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. 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. He went on to add, ” We, in Odisha, are elated that our partnership with Hockey India has led to this great achievement for the country. 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.”
Patnaik also gave away 13 awards. In the men’s team, Harmanpreet Singh won the player with a maximum number of goals scored, PR Sreejesh won the player with the maximum number of goals saved, Nilakanta Sharma won the player with maximum number of goal assists, Rupinder Pal Singh won the player with maximum number of defensive tackles and Harmanpreet Singh & Amit Rohidas for Player with maximum interceptions in the midfield.
In the Women’s team, Gurjit Kaur and Vandana Katariya won the player with 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 maximum number of goal assists, Deep Grace Ekka won the Player with maximum number of defensive tackles, and P Sushila Chanu for Player with maximum interceptions in the midfield.
Speaking at the felicitation, President, Indian Olympic Association, Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, said, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik Ji and the people of Odisha for showing their love and affection for the sport of hockey and helping our teams achieve the Olympic dream for India.
Over the last decade, Hockey India has played a pivotal role in building a strong representation for India leading the teams to put up an incredible performance at the Tokyo Olympics and command top positions at the FIH ranking. And for this 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.
President, Hockey India, Gyanendro Ningombam, said, “This is indeed a jubilant time for Indian Hockey with both our men and women’s hockey teams achieving historic results at the Tokyo Olympics.
After Reaching Bhubaneswar Airport the players were taken to the hotel in two buses. The bus was decorated with the color of the national flag. The players were welcomed at the airport through various dance songs in the art culture of Odisha. State Sports Minister Tusarkanti Behera, Sports Secretary Vineel Krishna, former Indian hockey team Dilip Tirkey welcomed the players at Bhubaneswar airport.