New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) The Sahara Group on Thursday renewed its association with Hockey India (HI) by signing a sponsorship deal extending till 2021.
Under the new agreement, the country's men's and women's hockey teams at both junior and senior levels will benefit from the company's support till 2021, aimed at propping India's preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Sahara India Pariwar has been associated with Indian hockey since 1995 and with this new agreement will be the national teams' Major Partner until 2021.
"Hockey is our national game and we are very proud of the team's performances at both junior and senior level, men and women, in the past year," Abhijit Sarkar, Head Corporate Communications, Sahara India Pariwar, said in a statement.
"We at Sahara India Pariwar believe that with adequate backing the young crop of players have it in them to create greater success stories in the following years similar to the Junior World Cup win, the men's FIH Champions Trophy Silver medal performance as well as the women winning the Asian Champions Trophy," he added.
"These results show that Indian hockey is on the right path towards bringing laurels for India and Sahara India Pariwar is committed to the development of the sport at all levels and are keen to continue our partnership with Hockey India in their endeavor to achieve greater heights."
The corporate giant further stated that apart from the sponsorship, it would continue to help the players in different ways as they have in the past.
This comes as a major shot in the arm for the sport which is vying to etch greater results in the lead up to Tokyo Olympics.
The teams will be put through rigorous training camps ahead of this year's Asia Cup (for both men and women), World League (for both men and women) followed by Commonwealth Games and Senior Men and Women World Cup's in 2018.
HI President Mariamma Koshy said: "Sahara India Pariwar has been a major supporter of Indian hockey for a long time now and we are very grateful to them for partnering us in our endeavour to bring about the hockey revolution.
"We could not have created success stories without the continued support of Sahara India Pariwar."
The HI chief also highlighted Sahara India's support at the Junior World Cup held in December in Lucknow.
"They were a major support to us at the recently concluded Uttar Pradesh Hockey Junior World Cup Men Lucknow 2016 where they helped some of the foreign teams with accommodation at their very well-maintained Sahara City," Koshy said.
"They ensured in smooth organisation of the event in every way they could and now with their renewed partnership with us, they have once again proved their commitment towards developing hockey at every level," she added.
"Sahara India Pariwar who owns the Uttar Pradesh Wizards franchise in the annual Hockey India League tournament has been a strong contributor to the HIL since its inception in 2013."