Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated the players from Odisha in the Indian Hockey team at a function in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar today. Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas were part of the Indian Hockey teams which created history at the Tokyo Olympics.
Chief Minister handed over the cash award of Rs 2.5 crores to Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas. 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 Bronze medal for the country.
Chief Minister handed over cash award of Rs 50 lakhs 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 Shri Patnaik advised them to continue their hard work and bring more laurels to the country. CM also assured them full support in future.
Kalinga Stadium has become the global hub of Hockey. The next edition of Men’s Hockey World Cup will also be played 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 Olympics.
They expressed their deep sense of gratitude towards the Chief Minister for supporting Indian Hockey which led to wonderful results in Tokyo Olympics. The Olympians were elated that the State Government has fulfilled its commitment of cash rewards and jobs on their arrival in the State.
Birendra Lakra, Vice-Captain of the men team, presented to the Chief Minister the Team Jersey with signatures of all the team members. Deep Grace Ekka, Vice-Captain of the women 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 Vineel Krishna also graced the ceremony.
Earlier when the Hockey players of Odisha in Indian Hockey Team arrived at airport, Secretary Sports R Vineel Krishna cordially received them with flower bouquets and presented them scarfs.
In fact Hockey Olympians were very happy with the hugely charged atmosphere created by Department of Sports and Youth Services led by warm hearted Secretary Mr.Krishna.
Team Sports Odisha generated very positive response by the warm reception, which generated more confidence among the Hockey Stalwarts, said an expert, adding warmth of Top Mandarin was quite visible and they were very happy with the memorable welcome.