NEW DELHI: The core group players of both the Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams will be entitled to a monthly allowance of Rs 50,000 under the government’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) till the Tokyo Games in July-August this year.
“… the Mission Olympic Cell has sanctioned Rs. 50,000 per athlete as out-of-pocket allowance for the members of the Indian men’s and women’s hockey team under the Target Olympic Podium scheme,” the Sports Authority of India said in a statement.
A total of 58 hockey players, 33 men and 25 women, will benefit from this decision.
Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh welcomed the decision.
“This is a big incentive for all the players in the Men’s Core Group who are preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games. We are very elated on hearing about this news, and would like to thank the government,” he said.
“We have many players who come from very difficult economic backgrounds and an allowance of this accord will definitely help them pursue the sport through to the Olympic Games without any hindrance,” he added.
This will be the first time that the women’s team will be considered under TOPS for OPA.
“This is the first time the entire Women’s Hockey Core Group has been included in the TOPS Scheme and we are very thankful to the government,” captain Rani Rampal said.
“This decision taken today really goes to show that women’s hockey is equally important, and we are being given equal benefits which is a big encouragement for us.”