Hockey India announced their recommendations for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Awards and Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement 2019 on Wednesday. Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh has been recommended for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2019, while experienced campaigners Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, Akashdeep Singh and Deepika have been recommended for the Arjuna Award 2019. Hockey India has also recommended Dr RP Singh and Sandeep Kaur for the Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement 2019, while coaches Baljeet Singh, BS Chauhan and Romesh Pathania have been recommended for the Dronacharya Award 2019.
"We are happy to endorse these current and former hockey players for the National Awards 2019. Over the course of their careers, as players and coaches respectively, these athletes have contributed immensely to Indian Hockey. They have always stood out while performing for the nation and have taken the Indian Team to great heights. It is with pride that they have donned the Indian colours, helping the team in achieving several successes across many years, and it is with pride and happiness that we, at Hockey India, recommend their names for the National Awards 2019," Mr Rajinder Singh, Secretary General, Hockey India said about the recommendations.
PR Sreejesh has been an integral part of the Indian men's hockey team since making his debut in 2006 at the South Asian Games in Sri Lanka.
Over the course of his career, the 30-year-old has made over 200 appearances for the country, and has won several individual and collective accolades with the Indian team.
Sreejesh has represented the nation at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.
The ace goalkeeper has previously been awarded with the Arjuna Award in 2015 and the Padma Shri Award in 2017.
Chinglensana Singh, vice-captain of the Indian men's team, has been a part of the set-up since making his debut in 2011, and has gone on to play over 200 matches.
Akashdeep Singh has played over 170 matches for the country since making his debut in 2012.
Women's team defender Deepika has represented India at the FIH World Cup thrice, in 2006, 2010 and 2018 editions.
She has over 200 international caps to her name and has taken part in some important tournaments for the country including the gold at the 2017 Asia Cup, which has seen her being awarded with the Dhruv Batra Player of the Year Award in 2016.