Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju, President of the Indian Olympic Association Narendra Dhruv Batra and several other dignitaries will attend the ceremony from Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi. 65 awardees are expected to attend the ceremony. The awardees will attend the ceremony from various places across the country – Bengaluru, Pune, Sonepat, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, Mumbai, Bhopal, Hyderabad and Itanagar. The Ceremony will be launched at 11 AM on 29 August. The event will be telecast live on Doordarshan and streamed live on https://webcast.gov.in/myas/sportsawards/.
Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for the spectacular and outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years preceding the award ; Arjuna Award is given for consistent outstanding performance for four years; 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 Puraskar 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. Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments is given Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy. In addition to these Sports Awards, the spirit of adventure among the people of the country is recognized by bestowing the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award. In a first-ever endeavour, the first National Sports and Adventure Award 2020 is being conducted virtually on 29 August 2020.
The sports personalities are pleased that the awards ceremony is taking place amid the pandemic, in this virtual way.
“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,” mentioned para-athlete Sandeep Chaudhary, one of the Arjuna Award recipients.
Table Tennis player Manika Batra will receive the prestigious Khel Ratna Award, two years after receiving the Arjuna from the President. “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.
Kuldeep Handoo, National Wushu team coach and a recipient of the Dronacharya award praised the organizers for conducting the ceremony with finesse. “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 stated.
Assam pugilist and upcoming superstar of Indian boxing, Lovlina Borgohain, meanwhile 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!” Lovlina mentioned.
Every year on August 29, India celebrates its National sports day. The day is celebrated to honour the legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand.