India: ‘Expect nothing but gold,’ says PR Sreejesh’s wife Aneeshya ahead of his fourth Olympic outing

~Dr Aneeshya Sreejesh elaborates on what it’s like to be a part of an international hockey star’s support system~


Bengaluru, 1st July 2024: With the Indian team gearing up for the Paris Olympic Games which is 25 days away, excitement is mounting in PR Sreejesh’s household where his family eagerly awaits the hockey star to play his fourth Olympic Games, a record so far held by the legendary Dhanraj Pillay. 


In a freewheeling conversation with Hockey Te Charcha, Familia – a special series launched by Hockey India ahead of the Olympic Games where family members of Indian hockey stars share insights into the support system at home that allows the players to chase their dreams Dr Aneeshya Sreejesh opened up about the champion’s journey in the sport. “We were classmates and have known each other for 22 years. I was an athlete at that time. I have seen his whole journey, right from when he was struggling. It is great to see him achieve his goals now.”


An Ayurvedic Doctor herself, Aneeshya juggles her career while taking care of everything at home when her husband is away, showing the incredible amount of support from the family that goes into having a successful career like Sreejesh. “The real struggle is spending time away from him. He’s doing really well for the country so taking care of the kids at home is the least I could do,” she said modestly.


Ahead of the Paris Olympic Games, Aneeshya said, there is immense excitement back in Kochi where Sreejesh resides. “We are all really excited for the Paris Olympics, which will be his fourth one. This is truly special and we all expect nothing less than a Gold.” 


Nostalgic about his career which has lasted nearly 20 years including his days as a Junior India player, Aneeshya pointed out his career-threatening knee injury in 2017 to be the most challenging phase. “The injury he had in 2017 was the most challenging one in his career. He thought he wouldn’t be able to play again. But he took it on with a lot of strength and dedication and that’s why he’s at the level he is at now. It was around the time our son (Sreeansh) was born. I think spending time with our son helped Sreejesh look at the injury phase positively,” she said. 


The Indian Men’s Hockey Team beat Germany to win the Bronze in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with PR Sreejesh playing a crucial role, bringing much joy to the nation and his family in particular. Speaking about the elation back at home, Aneeshya said, “It was a great moment filled with happiness, pride and relief. I don’t really know what the exact emotion was but it was certainly a very special moment. Professionally, that was the most precious and valuable moment in our life.” 


Age plays a massive factor in any elite sport but 36-year-old Sreejesh continues to be a live wire, bringing his infectious energy onto the field and lifting the spirits of everyone on it. “He always says a goalkeeper’s life is like wine. With time, they become more efficient and get better in quality. He tries to become better with every day,” she said, admiring his outlook.


Speaking about the Sunehra Safar event hosted by Hockey India in Bengaluru ahead of the Asian Games in 2023, where families of the players were called up on stage to receive the player jerseys, Aneeshya said, “It was a really nice experience for the kids as well as for me. The kids realised how great their father is. I thank Hockey India for organizing such an event.”

By Hockey India

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