After their brilliant show in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, the Odisha government has decided to sponsor the Indian hockey teams for another 10 years.
The announcement was made by state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at an event organised to felicitate the nation’s men’s and women’s hockey teams for their heroics in the Olympics.
Odisha has been sponsoring the teams since 2018 and the present sponsorship deal will end in 2023.
“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,” Patnaik said.
“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 glory to the nation,” he added.
Significantly, India had won a medal in hockey at the showpiece event after 41-long years after the men’s team clinched the bronze by defeating Germany 5-4 in a thrilling play-off encounter.
The women’s hockey team, on the other hand, had lost 3-4 against Great Britain in the bronze medal play-off match which was their best ever performance at the Olympic Games so far.
“It was a deeply emotional moment for India to witness the revival of hockey. For nearly four decades, hockey fans were yearning to see India grab a medal at the Olympics. The way the entire country was glued to the television screens to watch the hockey teams’ matches, it is quite evident that there is something more to hockey than just sports,” Patnaik said.
“In the backdrop of the Covid pandemic, it is remarkable that our teams worked so hard in spite of all the challenges and emerged victorious. At times of such crisis, the teams brought smiles on the faces of crores of Indians. We all should be thankful to our boys and girls,” he further said.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister awarded Rs 10 lakh to each player while each support staff was awarded Rs 5 lakh.