A total of 162 athletes and 84 coaches were conferred with awards in the Outstanding Award and Best Award category for their performance in national and international competitions on Wednesday.
The first-ever SAI Institutional Awards for Athletes and Coaches were given out by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Wednesday, in the presence of the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Nisith Pramanik.
The athletes and coaches were given cash awards amounting to a total of Rs 85.02 lakhs during the ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.
According to a statement, the awards acknowledged the exceptional performance of the SAI athletes and coaches under the various sports promotion schemes at the national and international level from 2016. The awards thus have been granted to the deserving candidates for the years of 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Praising the award winners, Anurag Thakur said, “I heartily congratulate all athletes and coaches who have been awarded today. Sports is very close to the heart of our Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi ji and taking his vision forward, a host of facilities are being extended to athletes. Every athlete is an inspiration for his generation.”
The Sports Minister also spoke about the importance of sports being an integral part of the National Education Policy. “When the sporting achievements of a student are announced in his or her school, it inspires other students to look beyond just academics and include sports in their life.”
“That is the power of an athlete. I am also glad that sport has become an integral part of the National Education Policy and therefore is a part of every student’s life now,” Anurag Thakur added.
The categories of awards were Outstanding Award (for National level achievements) and Best Award (for International level achievements). The selection committee comprised senior SAI officials as well as eminent sportspersons, who streamlined the nominations received from the Regional Directors of the various SAI National Centres of Excellence.
The awardees have also been given a special tailor-made blazer along with a citation. (ANI)