Wrestler Bajrang Punia, shooter Elavenil Valarivan bag top honours at FICCI India Sports Awards 2020
New Delhi, December 9, 2020
Champion wrestler Bajrang Punia and teenage shooter Elavenil Valarivan bagged the top honours at the FICCI India Sports Awards 2020 held virtually this year.
Former India cricket captain Anil Kumble received the "Best Company Promoting Sports (Private Sector)" award on behalf of his enterprise - Tenvic Sports.
Punia and Valarivan, who had an impressive 2019-20, won the Sports Person of the Year Awards in their respective categories.
Sundar Singh Gurjar and Simran Sharma were declared the best Para athletes while Radhakrishnan Nair received the best coach of the year award. Manjushah Kanwar was honoured with the lifetime achievement award.
Annu Rani received the Breakthrough Sports Person of the Year award while Mona Parthsarthi was named the Best Sports Journalist of the Year.
Freestyle wrestler Punia, who is currently training in the USA, expressed his delight at receiving the award. “Such recognitions motivate me to keep doing well, and it gives me huge joy. 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," he said.
Elavenil Valarivan said, “it is a great honor for me to be receiving this award.. I thank my family, mentor Gagan Narang and coach Neha Chauhan for always believing in me.
"Thanks to my state Gujarat, 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."
Paralympic Committee of India and Wrestling Federation of India were declared best National Sports Federations.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who was also the chief guest said, "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."
The FICCI India Sports Awards were selected by a jury headed by Mukul Mudgal.
The other award winners were:
Best State Promoting Sports - Madhya Pradesh and Assam
Best Organisation Contributing in Sports Through CSR - Tata Steel
Best Company Promoting Sports (Public Sector) - Indian Airforce
Best NGO Promoting Sports - Magic Bus India Foundation and Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation
Best Professional Services Company - Collage Design Pvt Ltd.
Best Sports Startup - SportzGrid Pvt Ltd.
Best Educational Institute Promoting Sports - University - Manav Rachna International Institute of Research & Studies
Best Educational Institute Promoting Sports - School - The Sports School