Young Awardees excited after winning Hockey India 3rd Annual Awards
~ Harmanpreet Singh was awarded the Hockey India Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year 2019 while Mandeep Singh won Hockey India Dhanraj Pillay Foward of the Year 2019; Krishan Pathak won the Hockey India Baljit Singh Goalkeeper of the Year 2019 and Neha Goyal won the Hockey India Ajit Pal Singh Award for Midfielder of the Year 2019 ~
Bengaluru, 10 March 2020: The much anticipated Hockey India 3rd Annual Awards which concluded on Sunday saw heroes from the present and past feted for their contribution and excellence in a glittering ceremony in New Delhi.
Former India Hockey player Mr. Harbinder Singh won the prestigious Hockey India Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award 2019, while current Indian team Captains Manpreet Singh and Rani won the Hockey India Dhruv Batra Player of the Year Award 2019 for Men and Women respectively. This year, the total prize money was in excess of INR 1.64 Crore.
Neha Goyal who received the Hockey India Ajit Pal Singh Award for Midfielder of the Year 2019 said she has come a long way in the sport. “I waited for more than 4 years to get a break in the Indian Women’s Team. I am fortunate that Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne recognised me during the Bhopal National Camp in 2017. Under his guidance, I have honed my skills and developed further in my role as midfielder,” stated Neha.
“I come from a very humble background, my father is no more and my mother used to work as a domestic help. But thanks to hockey, I have been able to help my family out of financial crisis and such awards are not only a huge motivation for us players but it also inspires other girls who have similar background as mine to take up the sport as a way of life,” added Neha who was who was rewarded for her efforts in 2019 with a trophy and cash purse of Rs 5,00,000.
Harmanpreet Singh, who won the Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year 2019 said, “It is important to acknowledge the efforts put in by the team and we are happy that the Hockey India administration recognises our efforts on such a grand scale. The year 2019 was a great year for the men’s and women’s team and we have been gradually building on our performance in the lead up to the Olympic Games. We are eagerly looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics and these awards encourage us to aim for better results at bigger stages.”
Mandeep Singh awarded the Hockey India Dhanraj Pillay Forward of the Year 2019 said, “I have never won an award at the Hockey India Annual Awards but always wished to receive one. I have idolised Dhanraj Pillay all my life and it felt truly special to receive the award from him on Sunday. Cash incentives are always a big motivation and we are happy that Hockey India administration recognises our effort and organised such a grand event to celebrate the sport in the country. It is the Olympic year and we as a team have put in a lot of effort to qualify for the prestigious Games. We look forward to a winning haul and make our country proud in Tokyo.”
Meanwhile, Krishan B Pathak who won the Hockey India Baljit Singh Goalkeeper of the Year 2019 said, “I was quite surprised when my name was announced for the award. The past year has been a huge learning experience for me and I thank Sreejesh and other teammates who have influenced my career and have stood by me during my tough times. For a youngster like me in the team, the award is no doubt very inspiring to do better. I still have a lot to improve and look forward to gaining more exposure working with experienced keepers like Sreejesh.”
Other awardees on Sunday included Deep Grace Ekka, Kothajit Singh Khadangbam and Savita who won the Milestone Awards which was presented for completing 200 International Caps for India. Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Nikki Pradhan were awarded for turning out in Team India colours for the 100th time.
Manpreet Singh also received an award for winning the FIH Men’s Player of the Year 2019, while youngsters Vivek Sagar Prasad and Lalremsiami received an award for winning the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2019 Awards in the Men’s and Women’s categories respectively. Rani was also awarded for winning the prestigious World Games Athlete of the Year 2019.
Source: Hockey India