As a junior with a hockey membership in Thiruvananthapuram a few years in the past, goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh had gone to Kannur to play a event. Manuel Fredericks, then Kerala’s lone Olympic medallist together with his hockey bronze at Munich 1972, had gone to satisfy the kids.
“Fredericks had introduced his medal to the bottom…that was the primary time, we noticed an Olympic medal,” stated Sreejesh in a perform to fete him right here on Thursday.
This time Fredericks, additionally a goalkeeper, had a detailed have a look at Sreejesh’s hockey bronze which got here in Tokyo. Fredericks had introduced his bronze too and for the primary time, Kerala had a have a look at its solely two Olympic medals in historical past.
Dr. Shamsheer Vayalil, the UAE-based chairman and managing director of VPS Healthcare, had introduced a ₹1 crore money award for Sreejesh and he had introduced Fredericks — who hails from Kannur however who largely lives in Bengaluru — to current the cheque to the star goalkeeper. There was a pleasing shock for Fredericks as he was offered with ₹10 lakh for his 1972 present.
Qualify for Paris
Sreejesh stated the hockey staff’s next huge objective was to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
“Definitely, we have now to win the next Asian Games (in 2022, in China), that’s the best technique to get into the Olympic Games,” stated Sreejesh.
“That is the primary goal, then we’re going to host the 2023 World Cup in Odisha. The final time we performed the World Cup, we couldn’t qualify for the semifinals.”
Both Fredericks and Sreejesh spoke about the necessity to enhance fundamental amenities to enhance the hockey scene in Kerala.
“Both of us are Olympic medallists and goalkeepers too…we have to provide extra amenities for hockey in Kerala,” stated Fredericks, now 73.
“There is just one astro-turf for hockey in Kerala, in Kollam. That too had been transformed right into a COVID-care centre and for practically one and half years, it has most likely not been watered.
“If we begin personal academies, and if VPS Healthcare helps us, we may have extra kids in hockey.”
VPS Healthcare’s India head Hafiz Ali Ullat and company communications and CSR head Dr. Rajeev Mangottil additionally spoke through the occasion.