Olympic bronze-medal winner, Indian hockey goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, has expressed his happiness at being awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award and expressed his desire to popularise the sport by taking it to the school and college level.
India won the Tokyo Olympics bronze defeating Germany to end a four-decade-long medal drought at the quadrennial games.
The Khel Ratna is the highest sports honour conferred by the Indian government and is given for outstanding performances.
“I wish I am able to take hockey to schools and if the Hockey India League (HIL) is revived, it could open numerous opportunities for youngsters,” said the goalkeeping stalwart.
Sreejesh is a former captain of the national side and has recently been promoted to the rank of director in the Kerala Education department.
The 33-year-old, who hails from Kochi, used to represent Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the Hockey India League. The last edition of the HIL was played in 2017.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan congratulated Sreejesh for winning the Khel Ratna.