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Mohali stadium named after Olympian hockey ace Balbir Sr

Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi paying tributes to late Olympian Balbir Singh Senior during a ceremony held to rename the hockey stadium at SAS Nagar after the legendary sportsperson on May 25, 2021. Photo: DPR/Punjab

Chandigarh, May 25 (MNN) The Mohali International Hockey Stadium has been dedicated to the memory of ace Indian player and Olympian Balbir Singh Senior.

A formal ceremony in this regard was held on Tuesday at the stadium — where Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi was present — to coincide with the first death anniversary of the legendary sportsperson, who was awarded the Padma Shri for his exploits on the hockey field.

Sodhi announced that an international hockey tournament will be held at the stadium to commemorate the hockey stalwart’s sporting journey, once the COVID situation eased out.

Balbir Singh Senior’s grandson Kabir Singh presented a book ‘Golden Goal’ written by Principal Sarwan Singh to the Sports Minister as a token of love.

The Minister said that the Sports Department will start a scholarship in the name of the legendary sportsperson for outstanding sportspersons in Punjab.

A statue of Balbir Singh Senior will also be installed at the stadium entrance. The Minister planted saplings in memory of the late Olympian.

Balbir Singh Senior was an important member of the Indian hockey team that was three-time Olympic champion. He scored five goals in India’s 6-1 victory over the Netherlands in the final of the 1952 Olympic Games. No one has been able to break his Olympic final record till date.

Balbir Singh Senior was also manager of the 1975 World Cup winning Indian hockey team.

He served as the Director, Punjab Sports Department. He was honoured with Maharaja Ranjit Singh Award in 2019.

Four Olympian hockey players Rajinder Singh Senior, Rajinder Singh Junior, Ajit Singh and Prabhjot Singh and Sports Department Secretary Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Director DPS Kharbanda and Joint Director Kartar Singh were present on the occasion.

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