Sports

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announces a further 10-year sponsorship of the Indian hockey teams

Published : August 18, 2021 12:22 IST

Members of the Indian men’s hockey team with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Kalinga stadium during the felicitation programme on August 17. Photo: BISWARANJAN ROUT

Indian women’s hockey team members with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Kalinga stadium during the felicitation programme on August 17. Photo: BISWARANJAN ROUT

At a ceremony held in Bhubaneswar on August 17, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated the Indian national hockey teams that scripted history with their brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

At a ceremony held in Bhubaneswar on August 17, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated the Indian national hockey teams that scripted history with their brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

In recognition of their achievements and their potential to be the top teams in the world, he announced that Odisha will continue to sponsor the Indian hockey teams for another 10 years.

The Chief Minister felicitated the women’s team and Rani Rampal, its captain. He also felicitated the men’s team and its captain Manpreet Singh for bagging the bronze. Each player was awarded Rs.10 lakh and each support staff was awarded Rs.5 lakh by the Chief Minister. As a token of appreciation, the teams gifted a framed jersey autographed by the players to the Chief Minister.

Addressing the gathering, 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.”

Naveen Patnaik said given the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was remarkable that the teams worked so hard and emerged victorious. “In these crisis times, the teams have brought smiles on the faces of crores of Indians. We all should be thankful to our boys and girls,” he said. The people of Odisha, he said, were elated that the State’s partnership with Hockey India had led to this great achievement for the country. “I believe, Odisha and hockey are destined to become synonymous.”

Disclosing that Odisha will support the Indian hockey teams for 10 more years, he said that this will herald a new era of Indian hockey and bring glory to the nation.

Speaking on the occasion, Narinder Dhruv Batra, President of the Indian Olympic Association, thanked the Chief Minister and the people of Odisha for showing their love and affection for the sport of hockey and helping the teams achieve the Olympic dream for India.

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