Sports

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitates Hockey Olympians from Odisha

Published : August 11, 2021 14:46 IST

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik presenting an award of Rs. 2.50 crore to Birendra Lakra, vice-captain of the Indian hockey team which won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: By Special Arrangement

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik presenting the cash award to Amit Rohidas, member of the Indian hockey team.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated the players from Odisha in the Indian hockey team in a function held at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on August 11.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated the players from Odisha in the Indian hockey team in a function held at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on August 11. The players felicitated were Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas, part of the Indian men’s hockey team, and Deep Grace Ekka and Namita Toppo who were in the women’s team which created history at the Tokyo Olympics.

All the four players from the State returned to Bhubaneswar on August 10 to a rousing welcome at the Biju Patnaik International Airport.

Naveen Patnaik, who appreciated the performance of the players in winning the bronze medal for the country, handed over a cash award of Rs.2.5 crore each to Birendra Lakra, vice-captain of the Indian hockey team, and Amit Rohidas. He also handed over to both the players an offer letter for appointment as Deputy Superintendent of Police in the State police.

The Chief Minister handed over a cash award of Rs.50 lakh each to Deep Grace Ekka, vice-captain of the women’s team, and Namita Toppo. He commended the team’s spirited fight in reaching the semi-finals and creating history in Indian hockey. Lauding their performance, Patnaik asked them to continue their hard work and bring more laurels to the country. He also assured them full support in future.

The players were excited to be back at their home turf where they had competed against the best in the world, which helped them in their journey to the Olympics. They expressed their deep sense of gratitude towards the Chief Minister for supporting Indian hockey, which led to wonderful results in Tokyo Olympics.

Birendra Lakra and Deep Grace Ekka presented to the Chief Minister the respective team jerseys with signatures of all the team members.

The hockey players from the High-Performance Centre and the sports hostel were present during the ceremony and Patnaik assured support to the emerging players from Odisha.

Tusharkanti Behera, Minister for Sports and Youth Services; Dilip Tirkey, Chairman of Odisha Hockey Promotion Council; V.K. Pandian, Secretary 5-T; and R. Vineel Krishna, Secretary, Sports, also graced the ceremony.

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