Hockey India on Wednesday congratulated experienced Indian men’s hockey team goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and captain 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 Olympics and was also given the ‘FIH Goalkeeper of the Year’ award 2020/21 for his contribution in the team’s Olympic bronze medal-winning feat, Manpreet captained the side which successfully ended India’s 41-year-long wait to win an Olympic medal in hockey.
The entire Indian men’s hockey team, part of the Olympic success, too has 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 women’s team at the 2016 Rio Olympics as well as the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 where the side won a billion hearts with their historic fourth-place finish.
Former international hockey player and veteran 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.
Congratulating the winners, Hockey India president Gyanendro Ningombam said, “This is 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,” he added.