Hockey India’s annual felicitation ceremony held on Friday awarded Punjab’s midfielder Hardik Singh and Haryana’s goalkeeper Savita Punia with the prestigious Balbir Singh Senior Award for Player of the Year 2022 in the men’s and women’s groups respectively. The Balbir Singh Senior Award carries a glittering trophy and a cash prize of Rs 25.00 Lakh each.
Both the winners expressed their gratitude towards their teammates and coaches for their constant support and motivation. Hardik Singh acknowledged the contribution of the entire team in winning this award and said that it’s an honor for him to receive this award on behalf of the team. Savita Punia shared similar sentiments and said that the victory of winning the inaugural FIH Women’s Nations Cup was a watershed moment for the entire team.
The Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award 2022, carrying a cash prize of Rs 30 Lakh and a trophy, was presented to Gurbux Singh for his outstanding contribution to hockey.
Dilip Tirkey, President of Hockey India, congratulated all the winners and appreciated their hard work and contribution to the game. He also mentioned that the federation has always strived to provide the best surroundings, environment, and right infrastructure to help the talented players and coaching staff to reach their full potential.
Apart from this, several other players received awards for their outstanding performances in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Former Indian skipper Manpreet Singh and Rani were among them. Amit Singh Bakshi, who was part of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, was honored with the prestigious Hockey India Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2021.
Additionally, the Hockey Ace Foundation was presented with the honor of the Hockey India President Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2022, earning prize money of Rs 5 lakh and a trophy. The Hockey Ace Foundation is a joint venture between Tata Steel Limited and Tata Trusts that has been successfully running two hockey academies – the Naval Tata Hockey Academy in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, and the Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High-Performance Center in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, established with the help of the Govt. of Odisha.
Overall, the Hockey India annual felicitation ceremony was a grand success, recognizing and rewarding the contribution of players and coaches to the game. It’s an event that acknowledges the hard work and dedication of these individuals towards their sport and inspires others to strive for excellence.