Hockey India will give a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh to the entire women hockey team and the support staff at the Hockey India awards in Bangalore on March 26, in recognition of their achievement of qualifying for the Rio Olympics.
The Indian women’s hockey team qualified for the 2016 Rio Games after a long wait of 36 years since the 1980 Moscow Olympics, when women’s hockey was introduced for the first time and Hockey India will felicitate the entire team and support staff.
“It’s a very big achievement for women’s hockey in India. Till now, the Gold in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester was the most celebrated moment for women’s hockey, but by qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics, we have managed to push the bar higher,” India skipper Ritu Rani said.
“A good performance in the Olympics will help to take women’s hockey in India a long way ahead. This recognition by Hockey India will further motivate us to put up a good show,” she added.
Women hockey players from Haryana have been a dominant force in the national team and all four slots for the Player of the Year (Women) award that carries a prize purse of Rs. 25 lakh, have been locked out by players hailing from the Northern Indian state.
The top performers of Indian women’s hockey in 2015 such as Rani, Deepika, Ritu Rani and Savita have been nominated for the top award in Indian hockey.
The nomination of Sonika in the Upcoming Player of The Year award category takes the headcount of players from Haryana to five for this year’s facilitation.