It was a return to the real world from the virtual as the Arjuna, Khel Ratna, Dhyan Chand, Dronacharya and other government sports awards were presented physically to the awardees of 2020 by the Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur here on Monday.
The awards were presented by President Ram Nath Kovind virtually last year, and the cash component had also been transferred to the accounts of the awardees then. The physical trophies were presented to the awardees on Monday in the capital.
The Sports Ministry had handed over a total of 74 national sports awards, including five Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratnas and 27 Arjuna awards for 2020.
There was no announcement as yet about the selection of awardees for this year, or the function to be staged for presenting the awards.
The ceremony was attended by most of the awardees including Rani Rampal, Vinesh Phogat, Manu Bhaker, Saurabh Chaudhary, Mariyappan Thangavelu, Lovlina Borgohain, Atanu Das, Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty.
“The journey of the awardees doesn’t end here. There is more to be achieved. We must also continue to look for talented athletes, groom them and make them capable of winning medals at the international level. I request all the athletes to take the pledge of at least grooming and training five such athletes who can win medals for India,” said Thakur.