National Sports Awards winners praise government for arranging virtual ceremony

For the first time National Sports Award winners will receive their awards in a virtual ceremony on the National Sports Day.

"We have to accept the fact that the pandemic has brought life to a standstill, but I am no less excited about this ceremony," Khel Ratna Award winner Manika Batra said.   -  PTI

For the first time, the National Sports Awards ceremony will be conducted virtually on Saturday. Because of the COVID-19 situation, 65 awardees will be present at various Sports Authority of India and National Informatics Centres across the country and will be conferred the award by the President Ram Nath Kovind in virtual mode.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, Indian Olympic Association president Narendra Dhruv Batra and several other dignitaries will attend the ceremony from Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.

The award recipients were pleased that the ceremony is taking place amid the pandemic.

“I am very happy that the awards ceremony is taking place during the National Sports Day in spite of the Covid situation. The Sports Authority of India has taken a very positive decision to host the ceremony virtually despite all odds,” said para-athlete Sandeep Chaudhary, who won the Arjuna Award.

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Table Tennis player Manika Batra, who will receive the prestigious Khel Ratna Award, said she is excited for the ceremony. 

“We have to accept the fact that the pandemic has brought life to a standstill but I am no less excited about this ceremony,” said the star paddler.

National Wushu team coach Kuldeep Handoo, recipient of the Dronacharya award ,praised the organizers for conducting the ceremony with technical accuracy.

“I salute Kiren Rijiju sir that even during such a time, a well-arranged function is being conducted. When I was in the dress rehearsal, it seemed very simple but it definitely is not easy to organize with such technical accuracy. Connecting all the awards winners online from various States of the country with the President is definitely a tedious work. Hats off to the team working behind it,” the J&K based coach said.

Boxer Lovlina Borgohain said she is looking forward to getting a photo clicked with the President of India after the situation becomes normal.

“I’m looking forward to winning a medal at the Olympics and this will definitely fulfill my aim of getting a photo clicked with the President of India!” she said.

The event will be telecast live on Doordarshan and streamed live on Sports Ministry's website from 11 am onwards.