Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik felicitated the players of the Indian Hockey team hailing from Odisha at a function in Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar on Wednesday. Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas were part of the Indian Hockey teams which created history at the Tokyo Olympics.
CM Patnaik handed over the cash award of Rs 2.5 crores 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 and appreciated the performance of the players in winning Bronze medal for the country.
CM Naveen 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, Odisha CM advised them to continue their hard work and bring more laurels to the country. He 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 in 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 hockey 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 also present during the felicitation ceremony.
Minister for Sports and Youth Services Tusharkanti Behera and Chairman, Odisha Hockey Promotion Council, Dilip Tirkey, Secretary VK Pandian and Secretary Sports R Veenil Krishna also graced the ceremony.