Recognizing the achievements of the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams at the Tokyo Olympics, the Odisha government has announced that it would continue to sponsor both teams for another 10 years after the current deal, which ends in 2023.
The announcement was made by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a special event organized to felicitate Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams for their outstanding performance.
During his speech, CM 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. This will herald a new era of Indian Hockey and bring back the glory to the nation.”
He further added, “In the background of the COVID pandemic, it is remarkable that our teams have worked so hard in spite of all challenges and emerged victorious. 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.”
Players of both the teams were awarded Rs 10 lakh each while members of the support staff were presented with Rs 5 lakh each by the Chief Minister at the event. While as a token of appreciation, each team gifted a framed jersey autographed by the players to Patnaik.
Captain of the national women’s hockey team, Rani, said, “The team and I are very happy to be present here today as we wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the Odisha government for supporting our team. Our team is always made to feel so welcome when we come here that Odisha feels very much like the home of Indian hockey now.”