Bhubaneswar, 29 January: In a ceremony held on the eve of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela final, FIH President Tayyab Ikram presented the FIH President's Award to Mr. V.K Pandian, Secretary (5T) to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, for his outstanding contribution to hockey.
“What we have witnessed here in Odisha in the last 2 weeks is truly exceptional! Not only the state-of-the-art facilities but also the passion showcased by the Odisha people for hockey – as much for the Indian team as for the others – has been an absolute delight to experience. Together with Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik, Mr. Pandian has played a pivotal role in making this World Cup such a resounding success globally! I’m very honored to present him the FIH President’s Award as a mark of deep gratitude from FIH and myself for his personal support and that of the State of Odisha”, the FIH President stated.
On receiving the prestigious award, Mr. Pandian said: "I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive the FIH President’s Award. I am not the recipient of this Award, I am only the representative of Team Odisha which has put its heart and soul in making this World Cup a grand success. We are inspired by the vision of Hon’ble Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik”.
Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said: “I have seen the contribution of Mr Pandian over last two decades towards the field of sports, especially hockey. Since he himself is a sports person, he understands the requirements and always strive to provide the best facilities for the sportspersons. His role is most critical in translating into reality the vision of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to make Odisha as a major sports destination”.
The FIH President’s Award recognises individuals or National Associations or other organisations for valuable services to hockey, whether direct or indirect, or initiatives which have had a significant effect on hockey at international level.