New Delhi, April 5: Ace midfielder Salima Tete who won the Hockey India Balbir Singh Sr. Award for being the best woman  player of The Year 2023 says "it feels great to be recognized  with the huge for the first time in my career "

"This is a big honour and will be a huge motivation for me throughout  my career "

Salima, who is now become an integral part of the team over the past year, was recognized for her consistent showing throughout the year.

The 23-year-old was a member of the Bronze medal-winning Asian Games Hangzhou team and scored 1 goal in the tournament. 

She also scored 5 goals helping India to win the Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi, and was named the Player of the Tournament.

Salima, who hails from the Simdega district of Jharkhand candidly admitted that because of Hockey India's support "I'm able to help my family"

On winning the award she further elaborated saying "This 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 made her debut for the  Senior Team in 2016 in the series against Australia 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  Team that finished fourth place at the Tokyo Olympics and also helped her team win the Bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games. 

She was also a key player of the team that won the Gold medal at the inaugural FIH Nations Cup in Spain scoring 5 goals in 5 games.

Alongside the award, Salima was also presented with a cheque of Rs 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 have 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 win 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.

She was of the view 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," she added.


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