Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday felicitated the players from the state who were part of the Indian hockey team in the just concluded Tokyo Olympics. The function was held at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.
Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India], August 11 : Birendra Lakra, Amit Rohidas, Deep Grace Ekka, and Namita Toppo were part of the Indian teams which created history at the showpiece event. The Chief Minister handed over the cash award of Rs 2.5 crore to Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas. He 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 a bronze medal for the country.
The Chief Minister 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 team. 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.
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 has 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 women’s 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, and Secretary Sports R. Vineel Krishna also graced the ceremony.