With the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports announcing the list of the National sports awards on Friday, the selected players, coaches and officials from the region will be given the award in a virtual ceremony to be held at UT Secretariat on August 29.
While the awardees from Haryana will be given the award at SAI Centre, Sonepat, those from Punjab, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir will be awarded at Chandigarh.
The ceremony will see President of India Ram Nath Kovind showing the scroll of honour at Rashtrapati Bhawan and players joining the ceremony virtually.
“Due to Covid-19, we have received instructions to contact the respective players, coaches and officials from our region and conduct the virtual ceremony at Chandigarh along with 15 other SAI centres. Players, coaches and officials, who have been selected for the prestigious national sports awards, will attend a full-dress rehearsal on August 26 at Chandigarh and will be given the award and trophy on August 29 when the President shows them the scroll of honour. Social distancing will be followed during the virtual ceremony too,” said PK Mattu, deputy director-in-charge, SAI regional centre, Chandigarh.
While a total of 74 players, coaches, and organisations have been selected for the awards, Chandigarh footballer Sandesh Jhingan has been selected for the Arjuna award while former national boxing coach Shiv Singh from Chandigarh has been selected for the Dronacharya award in lifetime category.
Wushu coach Kuldeep Handoo from Jammu and Kashmir has been selected for the Dronacharya award. Former Indian boxer Lakha Singh from Punjab has been selected for the Dhyan Chand award.
Shiv Singh, former chief coach of indian women’s boxing team and former coach of men’s boxing team. finds this virtual ceremony to be a new experience.
“I am glad that my name has been selected for the prestigious award. While every year, players as well coaches look forward to attending the awards ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan and getting the award from the honorable President, this time it will be a different experience for all of us. We understand that jaan hai toh award hai and amid such times, such measures need to be taken to avoid players from taking risk of getting infection. In the past, the Sports Ministry has given awards to players or officials missing the ceremony some months later and I hope a small ceremony can be done once the situation improves,” said Shiv Singh.
PU wins MAKA trophy for second consecutive year
Meanwhile, Panjab University won the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy for the top performing university in sports in India for the year 2019-2020 as per the awards list. Last year, PU had won the trophy after a gap of 13 years and has now won it again.
“Winning it for the second consecutive year means that we are going on the right path and all our athletes, coaches and officials are behind this achievement. We will keep working towards winning the trophy next year too and are hopeful of sporting activities resuming once situation improves. We are also confident of getting grants under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan and we plan to build a new synthetic track apart from constructing a new cycling velodrome if we get land in Sector 25 or Sarangpur,” said Dr Parminder Singh, director sports, PU.
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