Wrestler Bajrang Punia and shooter Elavenil Valarivan bagged the top honours at the FICCI India Sports Awards 2020 which was held virtually this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Both the athletes were delighted to receive the awards in their respective fields and expressed their gratitude in an interview.
“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,” said Bajrang Punia, who is currently training in USA.
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.”
This sports award is an attempt by industry body, FICCI to acknowledge and recognise the contribution of sportspersons and various stakeholders who come up with excellent results throughout the year.
Sangita Reddy – President of FICCI and Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Group, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Jharkhand Shri Hemant Soren, Prof. Dheeraj Sharma – Director of 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 of MPL presented the awards to the winners.
Cricket legend Anil Kumble was also present there on the occasion to receive 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 there to receive awards in their respective fields.