Long-serving national squash coach Cyrus Poncha has been chosen to receive the 2016 Asian Squash Federation ‘Coach of the Year’ award.
Poncha has been chosen from a list of 13 nominations from seven countries. He is the only Indian in this year’s list of awards, players and officials together, announced.
The ASF has lauded Poncha’s role in the good results delivered by the country’s senior and junior players last year.
The highlights include the world doubles tourney in Australia where Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal Karthik won a silver in the mixed doubles. Joshna Chinappa had combined to win bronze medals with Dipika and Harinder Pal Sandhu in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles events.
Also, in the Asian Team Championship in Chinese Taipei, India had won a silver medal in the women’s section and bronze in the men’s section.
In the South Asian Federation Games in Guwahati in February, India came back with a rich haul of four medals, including three gold and one bronze.
Chennai-lad Velavan Senthilkumar’s rise to become the Asian U-19 gold medal winner was another highlight of Poncha’s coaching career.
Previously, he had won the ASF Coach of the Year award in 2004, 2009, 2012 and in 2014 as team coach (a distinction was brought because there was a separate award for individual coach that year).
Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) President Debendranath Sarangi, while congratulating Poncha, said, “He is an excellent coach, consistent in his approach.”
The awards, four for players and an equal number for coaches, will be presented at the forthcoming Asian Individual Championship scheduled to be held here later this month.