Punjab Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi has announced that the lifetime achievement awardees from the state will automatically be eligible for the Maharaja Ranjit Singh award, Punjab’s highest sporting honour.
“Under the new sports policy in 2018, the winners of the Arjuna award and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards were already entitled to receive the Maharaja Ranjit Singh award and 101 sports persons were given the award in 2019 under the new sports policy. The Punjab government has decided to include all national award winners including Dhyan Chand awardees and Dronacharya awardees under this list. The lifetime achievement category awardees too will be included in the sports policy and changes will be made soon,” said Sodhi during a function at his residence Monday to honour winners of the national sports awards this year.
A total of eight players and coaches from Punjab featured in the national awards announced last month and attended the virtual awards ceremony held on August 29. It included hockey player Akashdeep Singh (Arjuna award), athlete KS Bhullar, hockey player Ajit Singh, kabaddi player Manpreet Singh, rower Manjit Singh, footballer Sukhwinder Singh, boxer Lakha Singh (all Dhyan Chand awards) and Col Sarfaraz Singh (Tenzing Norgay National Adventure award). Sodhi also informed that boxer Lakha Singh will be given a job of boxing coach in the sports department.
In his address, Sodhi also directed all District Sports Officers to get the forms filled up for the players belonging to their respective districts, who were eligible for the Maharaja Ranjit Singh award and send the applications to the sports department headquarters in Chandigarh. Sodhi also announced that there will be no annual income limit on the pension given to veteran players.
“In the Cabinet meeting held in July, it was decided that the gold, silver and bronze medallists in national games/senior national championships/recognised international tournaments would be eligible for recruitment in class-I and II posts,” he said.
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