Exclusive: India’s Olympic hockey hero Sreejesh thanks UAE businessman for cash reward – News

The 33-12 months-previous goalkeeper from Kerala says he’ll always remember the gesture from Dr Shamsheer Vayalil

It’s been three weeks since PR Sreejesh walked into the Indian hockey folklore when his beautiful final-ditch reflex save ended the nation’s 41-12 months Olympic medal drought.

Twenty days after he wore the bronze medal round his neck, smiling and hugging his teammates on the rostrum after breaking German hearts, Sreejesh was nonetheless carrying his Indian jersey and smiling from ear to ear when Khaleej Times interviewed him over a Zoom video name.

Apart from the myriad accolades, Sreejesh can be now carrying a chunk of UAE in his coronary heart.

The 33-12 months-previous goalkeeper from Kerala says he’ll always remember the gesture from Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director of UAE-based VPS Healthcare group, who showered him with a cash prize of Rs 10 million.

“After we received the medal, all of the Indian states had been asserting the prize cash for their gamers (within the Indian crew), however I by no means heard something from Kerala. So he (Dr Shamsheer Vayalil) personally known as me and stated, ‘Sree, this can be a small token of appreciation from my aspect, you simply think about this as a present from an elder brother to a youthful brother’. That made my day,” Sreejesh instructed Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

“You know, he by no means stated like, ‘okay, you’re taking this cash. He instructed me, ‘Sree, you made us proud’. These had been the precise phrases he stated. That made my day critically as a result of I by no means knew him personally. But after seeing my achievement, he got here up with such an amazing award. I imply that was probably the greatest issues that would have occurred to me after the Olympic Games. Now I simply wished to take this chance to thank him as soon as once more.”

Sreejesh was introduced with the cheque by VPS Healthcare in Kerala. And the perform was made much more memorable by the presence of Kerala’s sporting hero Manuel Frederick.

Remarkably, Frederick was additionally the goalkeeper of the Indian hockey crew that received the bronze medal on the 1972 Munich Olympics.

“That was the fantastic thing about the perform as a result of, for Kerala, it took virtually 49 years to carry one other Olympic medal. And Manuel Frederick was the primary Olympic medallist from Kerala. He was additionally a hockey participant and a goalkeeper. So that was an amazing coincidence,” Sreejesh stated.

“You know, after I met Mr Rajiv, Dr Shamsheer’s assistant, he stated. ‘Sree that is one of the best factor we are able to do to you as a result of if you need we are able to carry any superstar into the perform. But we considered getting an ex-participant out of your sport. So that made the event much more stunning.”

Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, the Kozhikode-born businessman, additionally received Sreejesh’s coronary heart with one other gesture.

“You know, Dr Shamsheer additionally gifted Manuel Frederick a cheque of Rs 1 million,” Sreejesh stated.

“Manuel Frederick was actually blissful and he stated, ‘it’s been ages since I’ve seen such an enormous quantity’. The whole perform was improbable.”

Rituraj Borkakoty

An enormous fan of the Argentina nationwide soccer crew, Rituraj usually writes on sports activities. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent together with his favorite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he likes to carry human curiosity tales to Khaleej Times readers.

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