Recognising the achievements of the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams at the Tokyo Olympics, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced on Tuesday that his government would continue to sponsor them for another 10 years.
Patnaik said, “We, in Odisha, are elated that our partnership with Hockey India has led to this great achievement for the country. 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.”
Players of both the teams were awarded Rs 10 lakh while members of the support staff were presented with Rs 5 lakh by the Chief Minister.
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Both teams presented Patnaik with framed jerseys autographed by all the players as a token of appreciation.
The Chief Minister told the players that they had made the country proud by leading the revival of Indian hockey.
“For nearly four decades, the 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 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,” the CM added.
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Patnaik gave away 13 other awards and felicitated Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Dhruv Batra.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaikji 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,” Batra said at the event.