New Delhi: Rio Olympics 2016 medallists PV Sindhu (badminton) and Sakshi Malik (wrestling) have been awarded the Khel Ratna award for 2016. The highest sporting award of the country has also been given to Dipa Karmakar and Jitu Rai.
Dipa Karmakar’s coach Bisweshwar Nandi is among six coaches who has been awarded the Dronacharya Award for 2016. Virat Kohli’s coach Raj Kumar Sharma has also got the Dronacharya Award.
National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years; Arjuna Award is given for consistently outstanding performance for four years; Dronacharya Award for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious international sports events, Dhyan Chand Award for life time contribution to sports development and Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 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.
A large number of nominations were received for these awards this year, which were considered by the Selection Committees consisting of former Olympians, Arjuna Awardees, Dronacharya Awardees, Dhyan Chand Awardees, Sports Journalists/Experts/Commentators and sports administrators. Selection Committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Arjuna Awards was headed by Justice S.K. Agarwal, Retired Delhi High Court Judge. Selection Committee for Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Awards was headed by Ms. M.C. Mary Kom. Selection Committee for Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar was headed by Shri Rajiv Yadav, Secretary (Sports).
Based on the recommendations of the Committee and after due scrutiny, the Government has decided to confer awards upon the following sportspersons/ coaches/organizations: The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a specially organized function at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29, 2016.
Apart from a medal and a citation, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardee will receive a cash prize of Rs.7.5 lakh. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will receive statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs.5 lakh each. Recipients of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar will be given Trophies and certificates. Overall top performing university in inter-university tournaments will be given MAKA Trophy, award money of Rs. 10 lakh and certificate.