Bengaluru, Dec. 9: Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes, wrestler Bajrang Punia and shooter Elavenil Valarivan on Tuesday evening bagged the top honours at the FICCI India Sports Awards 2020 held virtually this year on the back of the prestigious 10th Global Sports Summit: FICCI TURF 2020.
The two athletes, who have had an impressive 2019-20, won the Sports Person of the Year Awards in their respective categories. Freestyle wrestler Punia, who is currently training in the USA, expressed his delight at receiving the Award.
“I would like to thank the jury and FICCI for having given me this recognition. My aim in the future will again be to give my best and win lots of medals for the country. Such recognitions motivate me to keep doing well, and it gives me huge joy. I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate all the other winners,” he said.
Meanwhile, Elavenil Valarivan said, “I would like to thank my family first for always standing by me, my mentor Gagan Narang and my coach Neha Chauhan for always believing in me. I would also like to thank the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) for always supporting and pushing us through all our hard times, and also the Sports Authority of India for making sure that we are equipped with everything we need. I would also like to express gratitude towards my state Gujarat, and would just like to say that it is a great honor for me to be receiving this award.”
The FICCI India Sports Awards are an attempt by FICCI to acknowledge and recognize the contribution of sportspersons and various stakeholders who deliver excellent results throughout the year, and were powered by Awards Partner - MPL Sports.
Sangita Reddy (President of FICCI and Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Group), Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jharkhand Shri Hemant Soren, Prof. Dheeraj Sharma (Director – IIM Rohtak & Member of Jury, India Sports Awards 2020), Mukul Mudgal (Retired Indian Judge, Delhi High Court, and Former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court), and Himanshu Raj (Head - Brand Communications, MPL) presented the awards to the winners.
Hon'ble Chief Minister of Jharkhand Shri Hemant Soren, who was also the Chief Guest for the evening, said, "I am very pleased to be here at the FICCI India Sports Awards, and would like to extend my huge congratulations to all the award winners. It is a great initiative by FICCI, especially during such difficult times of a pandemic. I'm sure that such awards and initiatives undertaken by FICCI will motivate the athletes. Our Government in Jharkhand has also been emphasizing on improving and encouraging all the sports throughout the state, and we hope to see many athletes flourish."
Cricket legend Anil Kumble was also present on the occasion as he received the 'Best Company Promoting Sports (Private Sector)’ award on behalf of his enterprise - Tenvic Sports. Meanwhile, Yashodhara Raje Scindia (Hon’ble Minister, Department of Sports & Youth Welfare, Technical Education, Skill Development & Employment, Govt of Madhya Pradesh), Onkarmal Kedia (Director General, Sports Authority of Assam) and former badminton player Pullela Gopichand were also present to receive their respective awards.
The FICCI India Sports Awards 2020 have been conferred by a jury headed by Mukul Mudgal.
Source: Media Release