By Saumojyoti S Choudhury
New Delhi: Jun 15, 2012
Taking a cue from the BCCI, Hockey India is set to organise a grand felicitation function for its yesteryear stars who will be paid a one-time benefit from the HI coffers for their contribution to the game.
The felicitation-cum-Olympic team send-off ceremony will be held at a city hotel on June 24 where 34 of the living Olympic gold medallists will be presented with cash reward of Rs two lakh each.
"Just like the BCCI, we have also decided to honour our Olympic heroes. As we are not that financially stable as BCCI, for now we will be presenting the cash benefit to only the living Olympians who have won gold medals for the country," HI Secretary General Narinder Batra told PTI.
"In future, we have plans to honour the families of those Olympians who are not alive," he added.
HI's decision comes close on the heels of the BCCI's move to distribute a one-time benefit payment among the Test and first-class cricketers of the country.
During the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League, which ended last month, the BCCI distributed cheques ranging from Rs 3 to 15 crore among the former cricketers.
Batra also said that they have decided to club the felicitation as well as the team's send-off ceremony to provide a common platform to yesteryear stars and the Olympic-bound team.
"During the ceremony, the past medal winners will also give their best wishes to the Olympic-bound players and share their experiences which will be of great help in the London Games," the HI chief said.
Earlier this year, HI had decided to introduce graded payment system for its core players and keeping up to its words, awarded central contracts to 32 senior players for the year 2012-2013.(PTI)