Hockey Olympian M. P. Ganesh from Kodagu (Coorg) in Karnataka has been recommended for Padma Shri award. Mollera Poovaiah Ganesh, aged 73, was the captain of the Indian hockey team and won the Arjuna award in 1973.
Ganesh began his sports career with football and later switched over to hockey after he joined the Army.
He represented the Services (defence services) in the National Hockey Championship from 1965 to 1973. He found a place in the Indian team in 1970. Ganesh played for India at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, finishing third. He was one of the coaches of the Indian team that won a gold medal at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.
He twice represented India in the Asian Games, first in 1970 in Bangkok and then in 1974 in Tehran. Both the times India returned home with a Silver medal. He was in the Indian team that won Bronze at the first World Cup at Barcelona in 1971 and captained the team that won Silver at the next World Cup in Amsterdam. He also played for World XI in 1972 and Asian XI from 1970 to 1974. Ganesh last played for India in 1974 after his career was cut short by a knee injury.
Ganesh was the official coach to the Indian team that participated in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, 1989 Champions Trophy in Berlin, 1990 Indira Gandhi International Hockey Tournament in Lucknow and the 1990 World Cup in Lahore. He was the Chairman, Coaching Committee, Indian Hockey Federation for the 1998 Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur and the 1998 Asian Games at Bangkok. Then on, Ganesh has been playing the role of an administrator for various sports organisations.