Indian expat announces cash reward for Sreejesh - GulfToday

Indian expat announces cash reward for Sreejesh

India Hockey

Sreejesh Parattu Raveendran of India, along with team-mates, vies for the ball with Christopher Ruehr of Germany during their bronze medal match. File/Reuters

PR Sreejesh has yet again been appreciated for taking Indian Men’s Hockey to “newer heights” by helping it secure the Olympic bronze medal in the Tokyo Games.

Shamsheer Vayalil, Chairman and Managing Director of UAE-based, VPS Healthcare on Monday announced a cash reward of Rs one crore for Sreejesh

Sreejesh, who hails from Kochi, pulled off a stunning save in the last few seconds of the match resulting in the bronze medal after decades for India.

“Through his outstanding performance at the Olympics, Sreejesh has brought joy to Indians around the world. As a fellow Malayali, I take tremendous pride in his achievement.

“Thanks to his efforts, the interest in hockey has been renewed. His performance, along with that of the entire Indian hockey team, will serve as encouragement for hundreds of youths in the country,” said Vayalil.

Sreejesh thanked Vayalil for his message and the gesture of appreciation.

“Dr Shamsheer has congratulated the entire team for this great achievement and offered his support to us. The announcement of the reward caught me by surprise.

“A reward for winning a medal in the Olympics is delightful news and I feel very fortunate to be the recipient,” said Sreejesh.

Sreejesh, who returns to India on Monday after the successful Tokyo campaign, will be presented with the cash prize at a special function in Kochi, later this month.

Meanwhile, the Haryana state government will host a function on Aug.13 to honour its athletes who have won medals and performed well during the recently concluded Olympic Games.

“We will hold a function on Aug.13 for players from our state who went to Olympics where we will honour them with cash awards and posts,” state sports minister Sandeep Singh said.

Haryana has already announced Rs 6 crore to gold medal winner Neeraj Chopra, Rs 4 crore to wrestler Ravi Dahiya and Rs 2.5 crore to each of the bronze medal-winning Haryana players in the men’s hockey team.

Apart from that, the state is also giving Rs 50 lakh each to Haryana players of the women’s hockey team which finished fourth.

“We are giving money not just as per the stated policy but also out of policy. And we aren’t just rewarding the winners.

“We are rewarding participants we well, giving Rs 15 lakh to each of the Olympic participants from the state. We have already paid Rs 5 lakh for preparation. Haryana is the first state that has done this. Such efforts boost players,” added Sandeep who also acknowledged the athletes for having overcome testing times during the Covid-19 pandemic and done well.

“For our athletes, to overcome Covid-19 and keep their preparations on during 2020 and 2021 and bring themselves to peak is a big thing,” he said.

The 35-year-old former Indian hockey player said that the state has been investing in sports for a long time and will continue to invest in it.

“Haryana is way ahead in every game. It is providing facilities for every game. The most important thing is that it ultimately benefits India,” he added.

“The medals that we have won is what is visible. What is invisible is the planning that Haryana has been doing for a long time. If we see the results, Haryana’s contribution to medals tally is huge. We have been investing regularly in the grassroots, nurseries, facilities, equipment, infra.

“Not just that, we have rehabilitation centre, mental coach, physical trainers and dieticians. We have invested on them and on hundreds of other coaches that we are bringing to the state. Sports will continue to develop in the state, so that we have fresh talent,” he said further.

Sandeep termed the India’s bronze medal win as good as gold and said that it has somewhat healed the agony of the 0-8 loss his side faced during the 2010 Commonwealth Games against Australia in New Delhi.

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