Gandhe on Dhyan Chand award: Grateful that my work has been recognised

Former India shuttler and coach Pradeep Gandhe, who will receive the prestigious Dhyan Chand award, says he is grateful that his contribution to the sport has been recognised.

Pradeep Gandhe

Pradeep Gandhe was a double-bronze medallist at the 1982 Asian Games.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Former India shuttler and coach Pradeep Gandhe, who is set to be conferred with the prestigious Dhyan Chand award, is grateful that his contribution to the sport has been recognised.

Gandhe served as the national badminton coach and was also was a double-bronze medallist at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. With Leroy D'souza, Gandhe clinched the bronze medal in the doubles category.

“I feel honoured, but I think more than it the award is recognition of my contribution to the sport as a player, coach and later as an administrator,” Gandhe, who also served as an office-bearer of Maharashtra Badminton Association and Badminton Association of India, told PTI.

RELATED| Top shuttlers back two-time Asian Games bronze medallist Gandhe for Dhyan Chand award

“I never did any work while aspiring for any award, but now there is a sense of gratitude that my work has been recognised by the government,” said Gandhe, who is a contemporary of Prakash Padukone, Syed Modi and Partho Ganguly.

Gandhe had won gold medal in the doubles category in 1978 national Championship while partnering Sanjay Sharma. He then won another gold in 1982 nationals, partnering Uday Pawar and bagged the mixed doubles gold in 1984 with Ami Ghiya.

RELATED| National Sports Awards 2020 a massive boost for Indian badminton

For the first time, six people will be conferred with the national award in badminton. Besides Gandhe, Indian men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, coach Gaurav Khanna, who has been the reason behind the meteoric rise of Indian para-badminton, has been chosen for the Dronacharya Award (regular category).

Trupti Murgunde and Satyaprakash Tiwari will receive the Dhyan Chand Award.

- Family support -

Gandhe added that his family was a pillar of support through his career. “The support of my family has been immense throughout my journey, especially that of my wife, since my main career started after marriage,” he said.

“We were a sports loving family. My late father was a recipient of Shiv Chhatrapati award for his life long contribution to kabaddi, kho kho and as a great player 75 years back and also an able administrator.

“I was always supported by my elder brother Ravindra Gandhe and eldest sister Jayashree Pendharkar, who is the mother-in-law of former India captain Rahul Dravid, and my employers the Shroff family,” he said.

Gandhe will be conferred with the award in a virtual ceremony on August 29, the National Sports Day.

  Dugout videos