Hardik Singh and Salima Tete win Balbir Singh Sr. Award for Player of The Year 2023; Ashok Kumar wins prestigious Hockey India Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award -
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Hardik Singh and Salima Tete win Balbir Singh Sr. Award for Player of The Year 2023; Ashok Kumar wins prestigious Hockey India Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award

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The annual awards were held in New Delhi to honour Hockey stars and legends

Khel Today Bureau 

New Delhi: The highly-anticipated Hockey India 6th Annual Awards 2023 took place in New Delhi on Sunday where the National Federation celebrated India’s best hockey stars, officials and legends of the sport.

On an unforgettable afternoon, which saw the presence of some of the biggest names in Indian Hockey, Shri Ashok Kumar won the prestigious Hockey India Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award, while Hardik Singh and Salima Tete were honoured with the Hockey India Balbir Singh Sr. Award for Player of The Year 2023 awards in Men’s and Women’s categories, respectively.

This year, at the Hockey India 6th Annual Awards 2023, the total prize pool was an unprecedented amount of INR 7.56 crores.

Opening the Awards ceremony, Hockey India Secretary General Shri Bhola Nath Singh, gave a warm welcome to the respected guests, dignitaries and the hockey stars.

“It is always a great occasion for us at Hockey India when we are able to gather under the same roof and celebrate everyone who has been responsible for helping our beloved sport in its tremendous growth over the past year. I offer my congratulations to all the players, officials, and support staff for their unparalleled strength, fierce determination and relentless pursuit of excellence, because of which Indian hockey has scaled to new heights. I congratulate all the nominees and the winners for their invaluable contribution, and also thank our beloved legends of the sport for their presence, and for being a source of inspiration for all of us, as we move further into another important year for the sport of hockey. Hockey India has been taking incredible steps to further grow the sport and we also want to re-confirm today that we will soon launch Hockey India League for both teams with eight Men’s teams and six women’s teams. We aim to launch the same latest by January next year,” he said.

The ceremony started with the Milestone Awards 2023 with Vivek Sagar Prasad, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit, Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Udita, Salima Tete, and Gurjant Singh winning a cash prize of INR 1 Lakh and a trophy each for completing 100 International Caps. Nikki Pradhan, Amit Rohidas, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, and Neha were also presented with INR 1.5 Lakh and a trophy each for completing 150 International Caps.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team defender Harmanpreet Singh was awarded INR 2 Lakh and a trophy for completing 200 International Caps, while Indian Women’s Hockey Team goalkeeper Savita was presented with INR 2.5 Lakh along with a trophy for earning 250th International Cap. Indian Men’s Hockey Team goalkeeper PR Sreejesh was presented with INR 3 Lakh along with a trophy for earning his 300th International Cap. Last year, Vandana Katariya became the first Indian Women’s Hockey Team player to earn her 300th International Cap and was awarded INR 3 Lakh along with a trophy. The final milestone award of INR 3.5 Lakh and a trophy was presented to Manpreet Singh for completing 350 International matches for India.

In the second category of Individual Achievement Awards, Deepika, Mohith H S, Annu, Anjali Barwa, Maninder Singh, Deepika Soreng, Mandeep Singh, Salima Tete, Sangita Kumari, Harmanpreet Singh, were awarded a cash prize of INR 1 Lakh and a trophy for their spectacular individual performances in various tournaments. Savita, who was awarded FIH Goalkeeper of the Year at the Star Awards 2023, was presented with a prize of INR 5 Lakhs, while Hardik Singh, who was awarded FIH Player of the Year at the Star Awards 2023, was presented a cash prize of INR 10 Lakhs.

The Gold Medal Winning Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team of Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Men Lucknow 2016 was felicitated, with each player earning a cash prize of INR 5 Lakh along with a trophy. The Gold Medal Winning Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team of Men’s Junior Asia Cup 2023, Salalah, Oman and the Gold Medal Winning Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team of Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023, Kakamigahara, Japan were also honoured, with each player earning a cash prize of INR 2 Lakh and all the members of the support staff earning a cash prize of INR 1 Lakh each.

The Gold Medal Winning Indian Men’s Hockey Team for Men’s Hockey 5s Asia Cup Salalah 2023, and the Gold Medal Winning Indian Women’s Hockey Team for Women’s Hockey 5s Asia Cup Salalah 2023 were felicitated at the ceremony, with each player earning a cash prize of INR 2 Lakh and all the members of the support staff earning a cash prize of INR 1 Lakh each.

The Gold medal Winning Indian Men’s Hockey Team of Hero Asian Champions Trophy Chennai 2023, and the Gold Medal Winning Indian Women’s Hockey Team of Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi 2023 were also felicitated with INR 3 Lakhs for each player and INR 1.5 Lakh for all members of the support staff each.

The Indian Men’s Hockey Team was also honoured for their Gold medal winning performance at the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, China, with a cash prize of INR 5 Lakh for each player and INR 2.5 Lakh for each member of the support staff. The Indian Women’s Hockey Team that won the Bronze medal in the tournament were awarded INR 3 Lakh for each player and INR 1.5 Lakh for each member of the support. The Silver-medal winning Indian Women’s Hockey Team of FIH Hockey 5s Women’s World Cup 2024 Muscat Oman, were presented with INR 3 Lakh for each player and INR 1.5 Lakh for all members of the support staff each.

Meanwhile, the final category of Hockey Indian Annual Award Categories for the year 2023 began with Hockey Haryana winning the award for Hockey India Best Member Unit of the Year Award 2023, earning a prize of INR 2.5 Lakh. Hockey India President Award for Umpire/Umpires Manager of the Year 2023 was presented to G Harsha Vardan, with a prize of INR 2.5 Lakhs. Hockey India President Award for Technical Official of the Year 2023 worth INR 2.5 Lakh was presented to Sonia Bathla. Hockey India President Award for Outstanding Achievement 2023 worth INR 5 Lakh was presented to SAIL Hockey Academy, Rourkela. Hockey India Jaman Lal Sharma Award for Invaluable Contribution 2023 was presented to Dr Bibhu Kalyan Nayak, and he was presented with a cheque of INR 5 Lakh along with a trophy.

The award ceremony saw PR Sreejesh winning the prestigious Hockey India Baljit Singh Award for Goalkeeper of the Year, earning a cash prize of INR 5 Lakh along with a trophy. For his consistent performances throughout the year, Harmanpreet Singh won the Hockey India Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year, earning himself a cash prize of INR 5 Lakh along with a trophy.

Hockey India Ajit Pal Singh Award for Midfielder of the Year was won by Hardik Singh, while Abhishek won the prestigious Hockey India Dhanraj Pillay Award for Forward of the Year, both earning themselves INR 5 Lakh and a trophy each.

The next generation was also honoured with youngster Deepika Soreng winning the Hockey India Asunta Lakra Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Women – Under 21) earning a cash prize of INR 10 Lakh and a trophy. Araijeet Singh Hundal was named the Hockey India Jugraj Singh Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Men – Under 21), winning a cash prize of INR 10 Lakh and a trophy.

Hardik Singh, and Salima Tete, won the Hockey India Balbir Singh Sr. Award for Player of The Year Awards for men and Women respectively, each earning a cash prize of INR 25 Lakh along with a trophy. Speaking on the win, Hardik Singh said, “It is a matter of great pride for me to win the prestigious award. This is truly reflective of the hard work and the commitment that our team displayed over the past year. I am thankful to each and everyone for their support and I will continue to work even harder in the coming year to justify the honour.”

Meanwhile, Salima Tete, on her win, said, “I wish to thank my teammates, coaches and the support staff for showcasing their faith in me. It is a matter of great pride for me every time I get to wear the Indian jersey and step out on the field to represent the nation. This award will further motivate me to continue to do even better each day so I can continue to make the country proud.”

The ceremony closed with Hockey India celebrating the achievements of Ashok Kumar, honouring the Indian Legend with the prestigious Hockey India Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award, with a cash prize of INR 30 Lakh and a trophy.

Some of Ashok Kumar’s career highlights are:
• Member of 1975 World Cup Gold-medal winning Indian team
• Member of the 1972 Munich Olympics Bronze-medal winning Indian team
• Also part of the Indian teams that won the Bronze medal at the 1971 World Cup and the Silver medal at the 1973 World Cup
• 1974 Arjuna Award winner

Key winners of the Hockey India 6th Annual Awards 2023:

INR 5,00,000 – Hockey India Baljit Singh Award for Goalkeeper of the Year –
Winner: PR Sreejesh

INR 5,00,000  - Hockey India Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year
Winner: Harmanpreet Singh

INR 5,00,000  - Hockey India Ajit Pal Singh Award for Midfielder of the Year
Winner: Hardik Singh

INR 5,00,000  - Hockey India Dhanraj Pillay Award for Forward of the Year
Winner: Abhishek

INR 10,00,000 – Hockey India Asunta Lakra Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Women – Under 21)
Winner: Deepika Soreng

INR 10,00,000 – Hockey India Jugraj Singh Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Men – Under 21)
Winner: Araijeet Singh Hundal

INR 25,00,000 – Hockey India Balbir Singh Sr. Award for Player of The Year (Women)
Winner: Salima Tete

INR 25,00,000 - Hockey India Balbir Singh Sr. Award for Player of The Year (Men)
Winner: Hardik Singh

INR 30,00,000 – Hockey India Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award –
Winner: Ashok Kumar.

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