New Delhi, 05 March 2020: The Indian Hockey Women's Team defender Deep Grace Ekka has been nominated for Hockey India Dhruv Batra Player of the Year 2019 (Women) and Hockey India Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year 2019 at the Hockey India 3rd Annual Awards 2019. The much-awaited event is set to be held in New Delhi on Sunday, 8 March 2020. These awards are given in recognition of excellence in performance for the year 2019 and overall contribution to the game of hockey.
Ekka, who has made vital contributions to the Indian Women's Hockey Team's victories at the FIH Women's Series Finals Hiroshima 2019 and FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers last year, expressed that the Hockey India Awards will motivate the players to perform even better.
"It's a very important year for hockey teams and I'm sure these awards will only motivate us to better and better. It feels very good to be nominated in two categories. The awards have always been a big motivation for all of us," said the 25-year-old.
Ekka stressed on the fact that when she saw her teammates win awards in the past, she was inspired to play even better for the team.
"I've never won a Hockey India Award earlier but whenever my teammates have been honoured in the past, I felt very motivated to perform well for my team and be recognized too," said the Defender.
Ekka will be up against Gurjit Kaur, Rani and Savita in the Hockey India Dhruv Batra Player of the Year 2019 (Women) award category. The Indian Women's Hockey Team Captain Rani said that she is honoured to be nominated for the award.
"Being nominated for the Hockey India Dhruv Batra Player of the Year 2019 (Female) is a huge honour for me. Our team has put up some excellent performances in the last year and I am looking forward to all of my teammates being recognized in the event," said Rani.
Defender Gurjit Kaur expressed that she has performed well in the last year only because of her team.
"I am extremely delighted to be nominated for the Hockey India Dhruv Batra Player of the Year 2019 (Women). However, I am being recognized for my efforts only because of my wonderful team. We have coordinated extremely well in the last year and therefore we have produced excellent results," said Kaur.
Goalkeeper Savita said that the Hockey India Awards will be a huge motivation in an important year.
"If an Olympics is scheduled, then that year is a very important one and 2020 is not any different. I am sure the Hockey India Awards will inspire all players to put up their best performance at the Olympics. Personally, it's a very special feeling to be nominated for the Hockey India Dhruv Batra Player of the Year 2019 (Women), however, this has been possible only because of the work put in by the entire team," said Savita.