President Kovind confers National Sports and Adventure Awards virtually

President Ram Nath Kovind

New Delhi (NVI): In a first ever virtual presentation of awards, President Ram Nath Kovind gave away the National Sports and Adventure Awards, 2020, from Rashtrapati Bhavan today and said that the achievements of these award winners were reminder of India’s immense potential in the sports.

Setting the bar high, the President said that India would eventually emerge as a great power in the sports and aspire to find a place in top ten countries for winning the medals in 2028 Olympics.

“I am sure we will achieve this target” he said while addressing a gathering of officials, sports-persons and trainers spread over 11 different centres across the country including, Bengaluru, Pune, Sonepat, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Hyderabad and Itanagar.

The Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju also attended the ceremony and delivered the welcome address from New Delhi.

The President said, “COVID-19 has adversely affected the sports world too. Olympic Games have been postponed. Sports activities in our country have also been affected. Players and coaches might be feeling less motivated due to lack of practice and competitions which poses a huge challenge for their mental and physical preparation.”

He was happy to note that players and coaches have been connected through online coaching and webinars to overcome this challenge. He said that today’s event was an attempt to continue sports related activities despite the global pandemic.

“Today’s award winners represent more than 20 sports. The growing popularity of traditional games like Kabaddi, Kho-Kho and Mallakhamb will help in connecting the common people with sports. Today, apart from Cricket and Football, league tournaments of sports like Volleyball and Kabaddi are gaining popularity which is a pleasant change,” he added.

The Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years; Arjuna Award is given for consistent outstanding performance for four years.

In addition to this, Dronacharya Award goes to the coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events; Dhyan Chand Award is for life time contribution to sports development and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar is given to the corporate entities (both in private and public sector) and individuals who have played a visible role in the area of sports promotion and development.