New Delhi: Hockey India congratulated the Indian Men’s and Women’s Hockey Teams’ goalkeepers PR Sreejesh and Savita on receiving the Sportstar ACES 2023 award last evening in Mumbai.
While PR Sreejesh was named Sportsman of the Year (Team Sports) for his outstanding performance in 2022, which saw the Indian team finish third in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-2022, followed by a silver medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022. He was also crucial to the team’s performance in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2022-2023 home matches against New Zealand and Spain in Bhubaneswar.
Savita, on the other hand, received the Sportstar ACES Sportswoman of the Year award (Team Sports). The Indian Women’s Team Captain led the team to a glorious Bronze Medal performance at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022. She was also instrumental in the team winning the inaugural FIH Women’s Nations Cup, which helped them qualify for the next season of the FIH Hockey Pro League.
Hockey India also congratulated Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Odisha was awarded the ‘Best State for Sports Promotion’.
The Odisha Government along with Hockey India recently hosted the FIH Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023 held in Bhubaneswar – Rourkela which garnered attention and admiration from the global hockey fraternity.
Odisha under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is also prioritizing the development of sports infrastructure in the state. The iconic Kalinga Sports Complex is one of the finest sports facilities in the country while the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium was recently inducted into the Guinness book of world records as the largest fully-seated hockey stadium in the world. The facility also houses an Olympic-style Hockey Village with 225 rooms.
Congratulating the hockey stars as well as Odisha State Government, Padma Shri Dr Dilip Tirkey said, “It is a matter of great pride when players from the hockey teams are recognised for their efforts of bringing laurels to the country. Being shortlisted for the award by a jury chaired by cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar is a big honour. I congratulate both Sreejesh and Savita on winning this award.”
“I also congratulate Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik and all the officials of Odisha State Government for winning the ‘Best State for Sports Promotion’ for the fourth time. Indeed, the state is doing tremendous work in developing sports, particularly hockey and we are ever-grateful to the Hon’ble Chief Minister for his continued support,” added Tirkey.
Adding to the President’s views, Bholanath Singh, Secretary General of Hockey India said, “These prestigious awards not only swell our pride but it also will be a big motivation for other players in the team to emulate the similar success and perform to the best of their abilities. On behalf of Hockey India, I congratulate both Sreejesh and Savita and wish them luck in their illustrious career. I also express my gratitude and best wishes to Odisha for winning the ‘Best State for Sports Promotion’. It
is a befitting honour for a state that has been a frontrunner in promoting sports, particularly hockey.”