New Delhi [India], March 17 (ANI): Midfielder Hardik Singh and goalkeeper Savita Punia on Friday won the Hockey India Balbir Singh Award for Player of The Year 2022 in men's and women's category respectively.
The Hockey India 5th Annual Awards 2022 took place here on Friday which saw the National Federation celebrate India's best hockey stars, officials and former greats of the sport.
Opening the Awards ceremony, Padma Shri Dilip Tirkey, President, Hockey India, congratulated the winners.
"At Hockey India, we have always strived to ensure we can provide the best surroundings, environment and right infrastructure so that our talented players and coaching staff can truly reach their full potential. It feels great to see our hard work bear fruit and we truly celebrate when our players make us proud with their stellar performances all around the globe. The year 2022 was no different where the Indian Hockey teams won medals across all divisions," he said.
"I would like to express my congratulations to all the players, coaches and support staff present here today for their determination, vigour and passion to ensure the Indian flag continues to wave high in world hockey. I would also express my gratitude to the legends of the sport who are present here for inspiring the current generation, and also to the match officials for being an indispensable part of the sport," Tirkey added
Hockey India Secretary General Shri Bhola Nath Singh said the Hockey India Annual Awards is a one-of-a-kind in the country and over the years, it has become a legacy that contributes towards the growth of the sport.
The awards ceremony started with the felicitation of awardees from 2021 and 2022, according to an official release.
For 2021, Indian Men's Hockey Team Legend Amit Singh Bakshi, who was part of the Indian team that won the Gold Medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, received the prestigious Hockey India Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2021.
Harmanpreet Singh and Savita won the Hockey India Balbir Singh Sr. Award for Player of The Year 2021 awards in the Men's and Women's categories, respectively.
For the awards for 2022, these started with Milestone Awards given to athletes who achieved important milestones in their career in the past year. These included awards given to Manpreet Singh and Rani for earning 300 International Caps and 250 International Caps, respectively. While Manpreet was awarded a cash prize of INR 3.00 lakh and a trophy, Rani won a cash prize of INR 2.50 lakh along with a trophy.
Also, Navjot Kaur and Mandeep Singh were each awarded Rs 2 lakh with a trophy for earning 200 International Caps, while Neha, Navneet Kaur, and Lalremsiami were also presented with Rs one lakh each with a trophy for earning 100 International Caps.
Harmanpreet Singh won two milestone awards - as he was presented with Rs 1.50 Lakh along with a trophy for earning 150 International Caps and also a cash prize of Rs one lakh with a trophy for scoring 100 International goals. Karthi Selvam also received a cash prize of Rs one lakh for scoring a goal on debut while Umpire Javed Shaikh also was awarded a cash prize of Rs 1.50 lakh for officiating in his 150th Senior International Match.
The second set of awards for 2022 was given in recognition of the Individual Achievements of the players with PR Sreejesh and Savita getting Rs 5 lakh each for winning the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year 2021-22 in Men's and Women's categories, respectively.
Indian Women team Coach Janneke Schopman won Rs 5 lakh for being named the FIH Coach of the Year 2021-22 Women's categories, while Mumtaz Khan also earned Rs 5 lakh for winning the FIH Women's Rising Star of the Year 2021-22.
Indian Men's Hockey Team Captain Harmanpreet Singh was awarded Rs 10 lakh for being named the FIH Men's Player of the Year 2021-22.
Harmanpreet Singh was also awarded Rs one lakh for being the top goal-scorer at the FIH Men's Hockey Pro League 2021-22, while Savita was presented with additional prize money of Rs one lakh for being The Best Goalkeeper of the FIH Hockey Women's Nations Cup Spain 2022. Sharda Nand Tiwari was also honoured with a cash prize of Rs one lakh for being the Top Goal Scorer of the Sultan of Johor Cup 2022.
The Indian Women's Hockey Team that won the Gold Medal at the FIH Women's Nations Cup Spain 2022 was also felicitated during the ceremony with each player winning Rs 2 Lakh while the Coaching staff was presented with Rs one lakh each.
The Indian Junior Men's Hockey Team that won the Gold Medal at the Sultan of Johor Cup 2022 was also felicitated with each player earning Rs 2 lakh each and each member of the coaching staff earning Rs one lakh each.
Hockey India showed their appreciation to the Odisha State Government for the successful completion of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela this year.
Speaking on the honour, the Indian Captain Savita said: "To be honest, I am speechless; this is a tremendous honour for which I am extremely grateful. We performed admirably as a team, and winning the inaugural FIH Women's Nations Cup was a watershed moment for all of us. I'd also like to thank my teammates, coach and support staff for their continuous encouragement and hard work in helping the team reach new heights."
Hardik Singh also expressed gratitude for receiving the award.
"Receiving this award is a tremendous honour for me. It's been a fantastic year, and it feels great to be recognised for my efforts. I believe we had a roller coaster year as a team, and there are players who have done exceptionally well this year as well. I honestly feel that I am accepting this honour on behalf of the entire team. I would like to thank each and every member of our team, as this would not have been possible without their support." (ANI)