Former India kabaddi captain Ajay Thakur was conferred the Giant off the Field honour at the 2021 Sportstar ACES Awards on Saturday for his work with the Himachal Police during the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

The Padma Shri awardee, who serves as a deputy superintendent of police in Himachal Pradesh, was instrumental in conducting daily checks and his videos requesting people to stay indoors were widely shared across social media.

“I’d like to thank Sportstar for honouring me with the Giant off the Field award. I want to thank them on behalf of the kabaddi fraternity for bestowing this award on me,” Ajay said after receiving the award.


Current India captain Deepak Niwas Hooda, who presented the award to Ajay, said, “It is a matter of great joy for me to present Ajay Thakur with the Giant off the Field award. I have played alongside Ajay for many years now and he has always been a source of inspiration for us all. In these times of the coronavirus pandemic, he has contributed immensely to the work done by the Himachal Pradesh police. I congratulate him once again for this award.”

The 2021 edition of the Sportstar ACES Awards honoured the Giants of the Decade in Indian sport, with the winners being assessing on their performance and consistency from 2011 to 2020. Eleven awards were presented under the popular choice category, which was open to public voting, along with 14 jury awards as well as special recognition awards under two new categories – Sports for Good and Giants off the Field – that recognise the work of organisations and individuals who have used sports for the betterment of society.