In a first for Indian hockey, the national federation on Monday decided to have the 'Hockey India Annual Awards' wherein the top players in the men's and women's categories will walk away with a prize money of Rs 25 lakh each. (Read: India Stun World Champions Australia for Historic Test Series Win)
Hockey India will be identifying and rewarding the most promising and potent players from the current as well as upcoming teams.
Speaking on the announcement, Hockey India Secretary General Md Mushtaque Ahmad said, "It is huge leap that we at Hockey India are preparing for. These awards are not only focused towards the welfare of the players but will ultimately help in boosting the morale of the players and motivating them to perform even better.
"The Hockey India family as an organisation takes pride in announcing the Hockey India Annual Awards for the Players and shall strive to take more such steps for the enhancement of the sport as well the players."
HI has decided to name the individual trophies after HI President Dr Narinder Batra's son Dhruv, who passed away recently.
"The Hockey India Executive Board and the Indian hockey community recognise and acknowledge the major contribution that Dr. Narinder Batra in particular and his family have made to Indian hockey. Dr Batra was also recently honored internationally by being awarded the FIH Presidents award at the FIH Congress on 1 November 2014 for his role in the development and growth of hockey in India over the recent years," he said.
"In remembrance of the late Mr. Dhruv Batra who expired on 29 October 2014, during the FIH Congress, the son of President, Dr Narinder Batra, the Board thought it was fitting to name the 'Player of the Year' awards in the category of men and women to the remarkable young man that was Mr. Dhruv Batra," Ahmad added.
Each award will consist of a trophy, certificate and cash award. The decision to announce the awards was taken in the 26th Meeting of the Hockey India Executive Board here.
The 26th Meeting of the Hockey India Executive Board was Chaired by Hockey India Senior Vice President, Ms Mariamma Koshy and attended by Executive Board Members including Md. Mushtaque Ahmad (Secretary General), Rajinder Singh (Treasurer), Tapan Das, Anandeshwar Pandey, Rajeev Mehta, Hitesh Sindwani, Asha Thakur, Asunta Lakra and Dr. R.P Singh.
List of Awards -
Dhruv Batra Player of the Year (Men) - Rs 25,00,000
Dhruv Batra Player of the Year (Women) - Rs 25,00,000
Upcoming Player of the Year (Men U-21) - Rs 10,00,000
Upcoming Player of the Year (Women U-21) - Rs 10,00,000
Goalkeeper of the Year - Rs 5,00,000
Defender of the Year - Rs 5,00,000
Midfielder of the Year - Rs 5,00,000
Forward of the Year - Rs 5,00,000
Award for Invaluable Contribution (For coaches and support staff) - Rs 5,00,000
President Award for Outstanding Achievement - Rs 5,00,000.