Continuing his unstinted patronage to hockey, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday felicitated the players from Odisha in the Indian Hockey team at a function in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar
Four players from the State- Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Birendra Lakra, and Amit Rohidas were part of the Indian Hockey teams which created history at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Chief Minister handed over the cash award of Rs 2.5 crores to Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas, the stars of the Indian hockey team which won the bronze medal after 41 years of medal-drought in the Olympics.
The Chief Minister also handed over the offer letter for appointment as Deputy Superintendent of Police in the State Police department. He appreciated the performance of the players in winning the Bronze medal for the country.
Patnaik also handed over a cash award of Rs 50 lakh each to Deep Grace Ekka and Namita Toppo, who were part of the Indian Women’s Hockey team at the Tokyo Olympics. He commended the spirited fight of the women’s team in reaching the semi-finals and creating history in Indian Hockey.
Lauding their performance, Chief Minister Patnaik advised them to continue their hard work and bring more laurels to the country. CM also assured them full support in the future.
Kalinga Stadium has become the global hub of Hockey. The next edition of the Men’s Hockey World Cup will also be played at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar. 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 the Tokyo Olympics. The Olympians were elated that the State Government had fulfilled its commitment of cash rewards and jobs on their arrival in the State.
Birendra Lakra, Vice-Captain of the men’s team, presented to the Chief Minister the Team Jersey with the signatures of all the team members. Deep Grace Ekka, Vice-Captain of the women’s team, presented to the Chief Minister the Team Jersey with the signatures of all the team members.
The hockey players from the High-Performance Center and the Sports hostel were present during the ceremony. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik assured all support to the emerging players from Odisha.
Minister for Sports and Youth Services Tusharkanti Behera and Chairman, Odisha Hockey Promotion Council, Dilip Tirkey, Secretary 5-T V.K. Pandian, and Secretary Sports R. Veenil Krishna also graced the ceremony.