Indian men's and women's hockey captains Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal earned top honours in the third annual installment of the Hockey India Awards. While Manpreet bagged the Hockey India Dhruv Batra Award for Player of the Year (Male), Rani clinched the Hockey India Dhruv Batra Award for Player of the Year (Female). Last month, Manpreet became the first Indian to win the "FIH Men’s Player of the Year" award. In contrast, Rani became the first player to win the prestigious "World Games Athlete of the Year" award in January. It has been a terrific 2019 for both Manpreet and Rani as they led the men's and women's teams to the Tokyo Olympic berth.
In addition to the trophy, Manpreet and Rani were given a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh in a spectacular ceremony where the achievements of current and former Indian hockey players were celebrated. For conquering the FIH Men's Player of the Year 2019, Manpreet was also awarded a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh, while youngsters Vivek Sagar Prasad and Lalremsiami won Rs 5 lakh each for carrying the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2019 award. Rani also received a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh for winning the prestigious World Games Athlete of the Year 2019.
The Minister of Sports, Kiren Rijiju was the chief guest of the occasion where he said: "I always believed that hockey is the heart and soul of Indian sports. It is the pillar of Indian sports. I would like to assure that whatever support is needed from the government's side for hockey, we will provide."
After winning the award, Manpreet stated: "It was a great year for our team, and I would like to dedicate this award to my teammates and coaches, without whom, I would not be holding this trophy. I would also like to thank Hockey India for their continued support, and I hope this award will motivate, not only myself but more players to give their best for the country and bring more laurels."
Rani dedicated this award to her team: "I have always strived to work hard for my team and my country and to have been recognized for doing the thing that I love doing the most, it gives me immense happiness. I would like to thank my teammates, Coaches, family and Hockey India for always being a huge supporter, and being the guiding light. I dedicate this award to my team."
FIH President Narinder Batra said that as the head of the International Federation, he is happy to see the progress of Indian teams. He added, "I would like to congratulate Hockey India for their efforts of raising the bar for Indian hockey to highest standards. Hockey has always been a very important part of India's sporting history. I am delighted to see that the game still has a high following in our country."
Olympic gold medalist Harbinder Singh won the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 for his outstanding contribution to the Games, in which he received a cash prize of Rs 30 lakh and a trophy.
Milestone Awards were given to Kothajit Singh, Deep Grace Ekka and Savita, where they received a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each and a trophy for playing 200 international matches. While Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Nikki Pradhan were also presented with a cheque of Rs 50K each and a trophy for playing 100 matches for India.
A total of Rs 1.64 crore was awarded at the Hockey India Annual Awards.
|President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement||Government of Odisha|
|Jaman Lal Sharma Award for Invaluable Contribution||Sports Authority of India|
|Ajit Pal Singh Award for Midfielder of the Year||Mandeep Singh|
|Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year||Harmanpreet Singh|
|Baljit Singh Award for Goalkeeper of the Year||Krishan B Pathak|
|Jugraj Singh Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Men - Under 21)||Vivek Sagar Prasad|
|Asunta Lakra Award for Upcoming Player of the Year (Women - Under 21)||Lalremsiami|
|Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award||Harbinder Singh|
|Dhruv Batra Award for Player of the Year (Men)||Manpreet Singh|
|Dhruv Batra Award for Player of the Year (Women)||Rani Rampal|