New Delhi, Aug 28: In a first, the National Sports Awards comprising of significant honours for the Indian sportspersons will be awarded in a virtual mode as it will be held virtually for the first time on August 29 in the history of the awards. The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind will present the award to the award winners in a virtual format. The program will be telecast live on Doordarshan.
29 August is celebrated as the National Sports Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand. However, this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the awards ceremony has gone into virtual format.
According to the reports, the President of India will be attending through National Informatics Centre (NIC) link from the President's house, via video conferencing. Meanwhile, the recipients are asked to be present at Sports Authority of India and NIC centres in various locations across the country. The Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju and other dignitaries will be present in Vigyan Bhawan for the award ceremony.
This year, a total of 74 awards across seven categories - Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Dronacharya Award including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award, Tensing Norgay National Award Adventure Award 2019, MAKA trophy, Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar are being awarded to the sportsperson.
Out of 74 awardees, 65 as nine award winners will not attend due to several reasons like being quarantined, tested positive, ill-health or not in the country etc. Three award winners including the shuttler Satwiksairaj Reddy having tested positive who will not be attending the event.
Meanwhile, all health and safety protocols including sanitization of all venues and arrangements have been made to ensure social distancing during the awards function. All these guidelines will be followed, keeping with the guidelines of the Health Ministry. The Sports Ministry has also advised every award winner to undergo a Covid-19 test before reporting to the venue.
Awardees who are not being able to attend the function from one of the various centres or are not in India on August 29, will be given the award later. Of the 74 recipients of the National Sports Awards this year, 65 awardees will be attending the virtual award ceremony on August 29.
The Khel Ratna comprises a medallion, a certificate, and a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh. The Arjuna award comes with a cash prize of Rs 5,00,000, a bronze statue of mythological hero Arjuna and a scroll. The National Sports Awards also include the Dronacharya and the Dhyan Chand honours for achievements in coaching. They are conferred every year by the President of India.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Rohit Sharma (cricket), Vinesh Phogat (wrestling), Manika Batra (table tennis), Rani Rampal (hockey).
Arjuna Award: Ishant Sharma (cricket), Atanu Das (archery), Deepak Hooda (kabaddi), Deepika Thakur (hockey), Divij Sharan (tennis), Mirabai Chanu (weightlifting), Sakshi Malik (wrestling), Akashdeep Singh (hockey), Lovlina Borgohain (boxing), Manu Bhaker (shooting), Saurabh Chaudhary (shooting), Manish Kaushik (boxing), Sandesh Jhinghan (football), Dattu Bhokanal (rowing), Rahul Aware (wrestling), Dutee Chand (athletics), Deepti Sharma (cricket), Shiva Keshavan (winter sports), Madhurike Patkar (table tennis), Manish Narwal (para shooter), Sandeep Chaudhary (parathlete), Suyash Jadhav (para swimmer), Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (badminton), Vishesh Bharguvanshi (basketball), Ajay Sawant (tent pegging), Aditi Ashok (golf), Kale Sarika (kho kho), Divya Kakran (wrestling).
Dronacharya Lifetime award, eight names have been recommended and they are as follows: Dharmendra Tiwary (archery), Pursohattam Rai (athletics), Shiv Singh (women's boxing), Romesh Pathania (men's hockey), KK Hooda (kabaddi), Vijay Munishwar (para powerlifting), Naresh Kumar (tennis), and O P Dahiya (wrestling).
Dronacharya award, five names have been put forward: Yogesh Malviya (Mallakhamb), Gaurav Khanna (para-badminton), Jaspal Rana (shooting), Kuldeep Handoo (wushu) and Jude Felix (hockey).
For Dhyan Chand award, there are fifteen names which have been recommended: Jincy Philips (athletics), Kuldeep Singh Bhullar (athletics), Trupti Murgunde (badminton), Pradeep Gandhe (badminton), N Usha (boxing), Lakha Singh (boxing), Sukhwinder Singh Sandhu (football), Ajeet Singh (hockey), Manpreet Singh (kabaddi), Manjeet Singh (rowing), Late Sachin Nag (swimming), Nandan Bal (tennis), Netar Pal Hooda (wrestling) and J Ranjit Kumar (para-athletics).