CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced that the State Government would soon work out modalities for providing jobs to the medalists and asked the State Chief Secretary to examine the matter on the top priority before taking a final decision.
In his address on the occasion to honour the Olympic medalists and participants of Tokyo Olympics-2020 with cash prize of Rs. 28.36 crore here at a glittering ceremony in Punjab Bhawan this evening who brought laurels to the country especially the state thereby making all the Punjabis proud on their rare feat, the Chief Minister said Punjab has rewritten the history in the sporting annals of the country.
The Chief Minister along with the Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore also transferred the cash prize money online in the accounts of the Olympic medalists and participants.
As a token of respect and gratitude, the women hockey players presented a hockey stick to the Chief Minister with signatures of its entire team members.
Highly complimenting the stellar performance of Men’s Hockey team in clinching the Bronze medal after a gap of 41 years in Tokyo Olympics-2020, the Punjab Chief Minister termed it as a beginning towards revival of India’s lost glory in Hockey.
In recognition of the stupendous performance of state players in Tokyo Olympics-2020, Captain Amarinder Singh announced to name the schools and approach roads leading to their native villages after the names of the players. He also asked the PWD and School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla to identify such schools and roads so as to give due honour to the players who made every Punjabi proud.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister promoted the Men’s Hockey Captain Manpreet Singh as Superintendent of Police from DSP in Punjab Police.
Reiterating his government’s firm commitment to provide the state of the art infrastructure to the players so as to enable them to further excel in world class tournaments, the Chief Minister said that ‘The Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University, Patiala’ would be instrumental in showcasing the rare talent of sportspersons from Punjab on global map. He also asked the Sports Minister to chalk out a blueprint for developing ultra modern stadiums for different sports in consultation with the players and their coaches so that they could practice in a professional manner as per world class standards and assured that their would be no dearth of funds for this purpose.
While making a special mention of the Hockey legend Balbir Singh Senior and iconic Athlete Milkha Singh, he said nobody would have been happier than these two stalwarts at this rare achievement, had they been alive today. He said the state government would also honour Gold Medal winner Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra the first ever Indian athlete to achieve the unique accomplishment, having roots in Punjab, who could not make it to attend this function.
Pointing out further, the Chief Minister said that the historic win in Men’s Hockey and indomitable spirit displayed by Women’s Hockey Team and Athlete Kamalpreet Kaur would ever inspire the budding players to further achieve the new heights of glory in national as well as international tournaments. He also highly lauded the participation of Punjab players in boxing, shooting and athletics.
In his address, Punjab Governor appreciated the spirit of these players to join the police force and also made an offer to the willing players for joining the Chandigarh Police. He said that the talent pool in sports must come from the villages and well equipped sports academies are required in our rural areas where the energies of the youth can be channelized towards sports.
The Governor further referred to the exemplary contribution of Punjabi players in Olympics hockey as once Mithapur and Sansarpur were considered to be the nurseries for the budding players in hockey who brought laurels to the country in international tournaments. He mentioned once the majority of players in hockey team in Olympics were from Sansarpur.
Speaking on the occasion, Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi announced that the Punjab Government would soon set up a prestigious hockey academy for women on the lines of Surjit Hockey academy. He welcomed the announcement of the Chief Minister to offer government jobs to the Olympic medalists.
In recognition of superb performance of players hailing from Punjab, the State Government decided to give enhanced cash awards this time. On the occasion, 10 Bronze medal winner male Hockey players have been honoured with Rs. 2.51 crore each, Two Women Hockey players (Semi-Final) with Rs. 50 lakh each, One male Hockey player (Participant) with Rs. 50 lakh, One athlete (Finalist) with Rs. 50 lakh and six players (Participants) with Rs. 21 lakh each.
Notably, the 20 players from Punjab took part in the Tokyo Olympics comprised 11 from Men’s Hockey team (Bronze Medal winners) viz. Manpreet Singh (Captain), Mandeep Singh, Hardik Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinderpal Singh, Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Krishan Pathak, Varun Kumar and Simranjit Singh, 3 from Athletics namely Tejinderpal Singh Toor (Shotput), Kamalpreet Kaur (Discus Throw) and Gurpreet Singh (50 Km Walker), 2 each from Women’s Hockey team (reached semi-finals and was placed 4th) viz. Gurjit Kaur, Reena Khokhar and Shooting viz. Anjum Moudgill and Angadvir Singh, 1 from Boxing namely Simranjit Kaur and 1 from Badminton viz. Palak Kohli who would shortly participate in the Paralympics.