Hockey India felicitates Hangzhou Asian Games-bound men's and women's hockey teams
By siliconindia | Friday, 01 September 2023, 10:12:41 AM IST
Hockey India organised a special send-off ceremony in Bengaluru for the Indian men and women hockey teams that will be participating in the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, to be held from September 23 to October 8. The occasion, particularly for the players, was doubly special as Hockey India had invited parents and family members of the players from different parts of the country to be part of the event. During the function, the players comprising the two teams and their family members were felicitated.
For many, this was the first time, to have their parents, spouse, children and siblings part of a ceremony of this accord, which was graciously attended by Tusharkanti Behera, Minister For Electronics and IT, Sports And Youth Services And Home, Government of Odisha, Hockey India President Padma Shri Dr. Dilip Tirkey, Hockey India Secretary General Bhola Nath Singh, Executive Members of Hockey India, former players and also technical officials and umpires from India who have been named to officiate at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Former players and Olympians such as AB Subbaiah and Sabu Varkey were also present on the occasion. While Hockey India officially announced the members of the Men and Women's Teams, they also anointed Harmanpreet Singh as the captain and Hardik Singh as his deputy for the men's squad while Savita will continue to lead the women's side along with Deep Grace Ekka as the vice-captain. The men's team comprises PR Sreejesh, Krishan Pathak, Varun Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Jarmanpreet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Sanjay, Sumit, Nilakanta Sharma, Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Shamsher Singh, Abhishek, Gurjant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sukhjeet Singh and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay.
The women's team includes Savita, Bichu Devi Kharibam, Deepika, Lalremsiami, Monika, Navneet Kaur, Neha, Nisha, Sonika, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary, Deep Grace Ekka, Vandana Katariya, Sangita Kumari, Vaishnavi Vittal Phalke, Nikki Pradhan, Sushila Chanu and Salima Tete. Speaking on the occasion, Dilip Tirkey said, "Sunehra Safar -- not only signifies the team's journey from India to Hangzhou, China but it also signifies the years of hard work, dedication and sacrifices the players have made - training here in Bangalore, away from their families. Hockey India, through this event, acknowledges the incredible efforts put in by the families of the players.
"This is the first time that all the family members of both teams have been brought together for an event and we wanted to honor the efforts of the family members in nurturing these champions. We are very grateful to all parents, spouses and children of the players who have graciously accepted our invitation and have come here to Bangalore to attend this event," he said. Elated by Hockey India's gesture, Harmanpreet Singh, captain of the India men's team, said, "It felt extremely special for me to have my family here, as part of this celebration and give us such a memorable send-off. This has only motivated us to bring laurels to the country."
“This display of support by the federation, as well as their dedication to celebrating all of life's little victories for us, not only strengthens our team unity but also highlights Hockey India's unwavering support and dedication to our journey," Indian Women's Hockey Team captain Savita said, echoing Harman's sentiments. The Hangzhou Asian Games-bound players’ were presented with a jersey while their families were felicitated with Angvastra, Bouquet & Hockey India Memento. The Indian teams will leave for Hangzhou on September 19 and will continue to train in SAI, Bengaluru until their departure.
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