Chief Minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy will present international canoeing and kayaking champion Betty Joseph and hockey player P R Sreejesh with prestigious GV Raja award, which is conferred by the Government of Kerala every year for excellence in the field of sports.
The award consists of a certificate, a medal and a prize money worth Rs. 3 lacs each.
P R Sreejesh, also known as Sreejesh Ravindran, is the vice-captain goalkeeper of Indian Hockey national team. The Ernakulam-born player has had a great year with the hockey team, as they have defeated Spain and France on the European tour and most recently New Zealand in a test series. This brilliant stretch of form has helped them jump two places on the FIH rankings, they currently occupy the sixth place.
He was also part of the Indian team which won the gold medal at Incheon Asian Games in 2014. For his exceptional performances in the calendar year, Sreejesh was awarded the Arjuna Award in August.
Sreejesh is currently with the Indian Hockey team in Raipur, preparing for the upcoming test series against Australia and the Hockey World League finals.
The GV Raja award has had its fair share of controversies as well. Former athletic National champion D.Anil Kumar raised questions on the credibility of awards saying that he has been ignored by the state government for the past 15 years.
“I will urge the council to spell out what more should I accomplish to get the award,” said Kumar. The sprinter has won six gold medals in the National games between 1999 and 2005, including both 100m and 200m categories.
Veteran athletics coach O M Nabmiar will be awarded the Olympian Suresh Babu Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award, SAI’s boxing coach D Chandralal will be given the best sports trainer award and Alphonsa College faculty Thankachan Mathew will be conferred with the best sports teacher award.
The award ceremony will take place on Tuesday in Trivandrum.