The Indian hockey team has received a major boost due to the Indian government's Target Olympic Podium Scheme which will see the core group players of Indian hockey internationals across both the men's and women's teams get a monthly allowance worth Rs 50,000.
Hockey India extends its sincere gratitude to Hon’ble Sports Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MYAS) and Sports Authority of India (SAI) for including 33 Men core probables and 25 Women Core probables in the TOPS Scheme...— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) March 10, 2021
The Target Olympic Podium Scheme also referred to as TOPS is a great initiative by the government of India that will entitle the Indian men's hockey team, as well as the women's hockey team a monthly allowance until the Tokyo Olympics 2021 which are expected to kickstart in July-August.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) released a statement in regards to the TOPS initiative and shared how the Mission Olympic Cell has sanctioned Rs 50,000 to every athlete of the Indian men's and women's hockey team as an out-of-pocket allowance till the Tokyo Olympics 2021
Manpreet Singh, the current captain of the Indian men's hockey team expressed his joy at the announcement and spoke about how TOPS is a big incentive for all the players who are preparing for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Speaking about TOPS and the men's hockey core group, he shared how everyone is elated on hearing the news and wants to thank the government for the same. He also shared how the Indian men's hockey team consists of players from very difficult economic backgrounds and goes on to reveal how having a monthly allowance will help them continue pursuing hockey and participate in the Olympic Games.
The women's hockey team captain Rani Rampal shared her opinion on the initiative which will see the players get a monthly allowance. She went on to speak about how this is the first time that the whole of Indian women's hockey core group will be involved and included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme. Just like the Indian men's team captain, Rani Rampal went on to express her gratitude and thanked the government for the same. She went on to add that the decision goes on to display that women's hockey is showcased with equal importance and given equal benefits by the government which acts as a major encouragement for the Indian women's hockey team.
This is the first time that the Indian women's hockey team is involved and entitled to an allowance under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme as the nation prepares to take part in the Tokyo Olympics 2021. The current number of players who will be given the opportunity to get the monthly allowance up to Rs 50,000 totals to 58 hockey stars. While the group includes 33 individuals of the Indian core group, the women's hockey core group has 25 athletes who have the opportunity to benefit from the decision.