Odisha govt to sponsor Indian hockey teams for another 10 years
Odisha on Tuesday announced it would continue to sponsor the men’s and women’s national hockey teams for another 10 years after the current sponsorship ends in 2023. The announcement by Patnaik came at a time when both the men's and women's team captains including FIH president Narendra Batra and Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam were sitting on the same dais, a big round of applause came from players and the sports lovers inside the hall following the announcement.
While felicitating the men’s and women’s hockey teams in Bhubaneswar after their stellar show in the Tokyo Olympics, chief minister Naveen 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.”
In 2018, Odisha had signed a ₹100 crore deal with Hockey India for sponsoring the men’s and women’s teams for 5 years after Sahara India withdrew after getting entangled in legal issues. Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said, "You made us all so proud with your spirited fight at Tokyo. These are deeply emotional moments for India to witness the revival of Indian Hockey."
“These are deeply emotional moments for India to witness the revival of Indian hockey. For nearly four decades, 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 these crisis times, the teams have brought smiles to the faces of crores of Indians. We all should be thankful to our boys and girls,” he said. As a token of appreciation, each team gifted a framed Jersey autographed by the players to Patnaik.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, also gave away 13 awards. In the men's team, Harmanpreet Singh won the Player with a maximum number of goals scored, PR Sreejesh won the Player with the maximum number of goals saved, Nilakanta Sharma won the Player with a maximum number of goal assists, Rupinder Pal Singh won the Player with the maximum number of defensive tackles and Harmanpreet Singh and Amit Rohidas for Player with maximum interceptions in the midfield.
Captain of the men’s team, Manpreet Singh, said it felt good to be back here in Odisha. “This bronze medal may have been won by us as players, but in reality, it equally belongs to India,” he said while praising the CM for supporting the hockey teams.