Historic moment to see Sreejesh, Manpreet being chosen for Khel Ratna: Hockey India President
Hockey India on Wednesday congratulated experienced goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and skipper Manpreet Singh on being conferred with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, the highest honour for a sportsperson in India.
While Sreejesh had an exceptional outing at the Tokyo Olympic Games and was also awarded the FIH Goal Keeper of the Year award 2020-21 for his exploits guarding India's post in the team's Olympic Bronze medal winning feat, Manpreet Singh Captained the Indian Men's Hockey team which successfully ended India's 41-year-long wait to win an Olympic medal in field hockey.
The entire Indian Men's Hockey Team part of the Olympic success too have been honoured with the Arjuna award. The list includes Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Birendra Lakra, Harmanpreet Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Mandeep Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Shamsher Singh, Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Amit Rohidas, Sumit, Gurjant Singh, Varun Kumar and Simranjeet Singh.
From the Indian Women's Hockey team, experienced forward Vandana Katariya and midfielder Monika too have been named for the Arjuna award. Both Vandana and Monika were part of the Indian Women's Hockey team at the Rio Olympics 2016 as well as the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 where the Indian women won a billion hearts with their historic fourth place finish.
Former International hockey player and veteran hockey Coach Sarpal Singh has been selected for the Dronacharya Award for lifetime achievement while former Indian women's hockey Captain and Coach Pritam Siwach has been selected for the Dronacharya award. Meanwhile, Davinder Singh Garcha will be awarded the Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement for his contribution to Indian hockey.
Congratulating all the winners, Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said, "This is truly a historic moment for the sport as two stalwart players will be honoured with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award. On behalf of Hockey India, I congratulate them and also wish them the best in their future endeavours as there is still lots to achieve for Indian hockey and they have been important members of the squad."
"I also congratulate all the members of the Indian Men's team who have been named for the Arjuna award. It is indeed remarkable that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is recognising the team's historic efforts at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. I also congratulate Vandana and Monika from the women's team who have also been named for the Arjuna award. Their contribution to Women's hockey is immense and they are deserving of the recognition. I also congratulate Coaches Sarpal Singh (lifetime achievement) and Pritam Siwach for being awarded the Dronacharya award. I also congratulate Davinder Singh Garcha who has been named for the Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement. I also thank these veterans for their immense contribution to Indian hockey," he added.