Mohali stadium named after hockey icon Balbir Singh Senior


The Mohali International Hockey Stadium in Punjab near here was dedicated to legendary centre-forward Balbir Singh Senior at a formal ceremony on his first death anniversary on Tuesday.

State Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi said once the COVID pandemic eased out an international hockey tournament would be held in the stadium to mark the hockey stalwart’s sporting journey.

He said the sports department would start a scholarship in the name of the three-time Olympian for sportspersons belonging to the state.

He said a statue in his memory would be installed at the stadium entrance. The minister planted saplings in the memory of the sportsperson.

Balbir was part of the Indian teams that won gold at the 1948 London Olympics, Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956. His record for most individual goals scored in an Olympic men’s hockey final remains unbeaten.

He had set this record when he scored five goals in India’s 6-1 win over the Netherlands in the gold medal match of the 1952 Games.

He was the head coach of the Indian team for the 1975 men’s World Cup, which India won and the 1971 men’s World Cup, where India earned a bronze medal. He was also conferred the prestigious Padma Shri in 1957.