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I can help my family because of Hockey India, says Salima Tete after winning Player of the Year award

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I can help my family because of Hockey India, says Salima Tete after winning Player of the Year award

New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) The Indian women’s hockey team midfielder Salima Tete won the prestigious Hockey India Balbir Singh Sr. Award for Player of The Year 2023 award in the Women’s category at the Hockey India 6th Annual Awards 2023 on Sunday.

Salima, who grew up to be an integral part of the team over the past year, was recognized for her consistent showing throughout the year. The 23-year-old was also a part of India’s bronze medal-winning Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 team and scored 1 goal in the tournament.

Salima also scored five goals at the Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2023 in Ranchi, helping India win the trophy, and was also named the Player of the Tournament.

Salima, who hails from the Simdega district of Jharkhand, expressed her delight in winning the award and said, “It feels great to be recognised with the huge award for the first time in my career. This is a big honour and will be a huge motivation for me throughout my career.”

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“The award has instilled a desire in me to perform even better. I plan to not miss even a single minute at the training camp and give my 100 per cent at every session. I know that I have won the award, but it is also now a responsibility for me to live up to the honour and grow and improve even further,” Salima added.

Salima made her debut for the Indian senior women’s hockey team in 2016 in the Australia vs India match in Melbourne but then had to wait for three years to become a regular feature for the side. Having donned 107 international caps so far for the senior team, Salima has scored 15 goals in her career.

She was part of the Indian women’s hockey team that earned the historic fourth-placed finish at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and also helped her team win the bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022. She was also a key player on the team that won the gold medal at the inaugural FIH Hockey Women’s Nations Cup Spain 2022, scoring five goals for India in five games.

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Alongside the award, Salima was also presented with a cheque for INR 25 lakh. The midfielder expressed gratitude to Hockey India for the gesture and explained how the prize will further help her family. “When my family heard that I had been presented the award, they were also really proud of me. As part of the honour, we also receive cash incentives, which is also a huge thing for me. When I win this money, my family wins this money. I express my gratitude to Hockey India for making such provisions, and because of their support, I am able to provide and help my family members in our day-to-day lives,” Salima said.

Salima further said that these awards further motivate youngsters to perform better and also inspire the new generation to pick up the sport of hockey.

“When youngsters see that the players are getting recognised for their performances, they also get motivated to perform better. The players realise that the national body is really supporting us and this is what we want at all times. It also inspires the young generation to pick up hockey as a sport when they see the level of support being provided by Hockey India and they also strive to work towards similar goals,” Salima signed off.

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–IANS

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