Punjab today honoured the ten Punjabi members of the junior World Cup winning Indian side with Deputy Chief Minister announcing a cash award of Rs. 25 lakh each for the young players.
“These players have done Punjab proud by beating the best in the world. They have also taken on the mantle of their seniors who have brought laurels to the country by excelling in this game. We can today rightly claim that Punjab’s legacy in hockey is secure and we have our youth players to thank for this as they have disregarded adverse propaganda unleashed against them to rise to the occasion.”
Mr. Badal said considering how the youth players of Punjab had put aside all distractions by way of negative propaganda against all youngsters of the State, the cash award being given to them was a small recognition of their feat. “However we thought we should do our best to recognise and honour our youth players to the best of our ability”, the deputy chief minister, who also holds the sports portfolio announced today.”
Mr. Badal also congratulated the sports department on the occasion as well as those responsible for the infrastructure creation push which also led to the junior World Cup title for India. He said,“These included construction of six astroturf stadiums besides 10 multi-purpose stadiums. He said besides this a world class institute Punjab Institute of Sports (PIS) had been established at SAS Nagar where under the ‘catch them young’ policy, the budding players are trained in different sports from their childhood.”
Ten out of the 16 member winning team belong to Punjab including Captain Harjeet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Varun Kumar, Krishan Pathak, Gurinder Singh, Vikramjit Singh, Mandeep Singh, Simranjit Singh, Parvinder Singh and Gurjant Singh.