Monday, August 27, 2012

Sports Awards In India

Sports Awards are meant to recognize those sportsmen or sportswomen, who have performed well and taken the country to great heights. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India has put together numerous schemes for giving assistance, training and recognition to sports organizations as well as sports persons. This form of recognition enables them to excel in their respective field. MYAS analyzes the past performances of different sportspersons, before deciding on whom to confer the award.

Some of the most prestigious awards given in sports are the: Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Special Award to Medal Winners in International Sports Events, Dronacharya Awards, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy and Dhyanchand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games. Among these awards, the Arjuna Award is considered to be the highest recognition that can be conferred on a sportsperson.

1. Arjuna Award:

The Arjuna Award is the highest recognition given to a sports person for outstanding performance in a particular field of sport. It was instituted in 1961, and is given to sportspersons with exceptional performance in competitions like Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Cup and World Championships. As per the Arjuna Award guidelines, the eligible sportspersons ought to have performed exceptionally well over the past three years, and also should have shown good leadership qualities, along with a sense of discipline.

The winners are decided by a Selection Committee comprising of a Chairperson, who is a sports person of repute, and 12 other members eminent in the field of sports. These 12 members should include 5 Olympians and 4 Arjuna Awardees from different disciplines, 2 Sports Administrators and a Member-Secretary of the Committee who will be the Director/Deputy Secretary (Sports) from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Apart from Olympics, World Championships and other renowned international level competitions, the Arjuna Award is also given for Indigenous Games and Sports, and sports persons in the physically challenged category. The selection committee scrutinizes the applications and selects the final awardees.

The Arjuna Award consists of a bronze statuette of Arjuna, a scroll, a cash prize of Rs. 3 lakh, a monogram, a blazer and a tie. Since this award is the highest among other sports recognition awards, the applicant for this award needs to have an exceptionally good performance record.

2. Dronacharya Award

The Dronacharya Award is given to those sports persons, who have acted as eminent coaches of teams or players and have enabled them to achieve outstanding results in international tournaments. This award is meant for coaches who have performed exceptionally well in training teams or players in the preceding three years. The Dronacharya Award was instituted in 1985 for encouraging coaches to infuse ability of playing well in the players, so that they can earn recognition for the country at the international level.

This award is one of the most prestigious awards for coaches of different sports. It comprises a bronze statuette of Guru Dronacharya, a scroll of honor, ceremonial dress, a tie and a cash prize of Rs. 3 lakh. Those who have worked for sports and sports promotion are also eligible for this award. Those who have received The Dronacharya Award previously are not permitted to re-apply.

3. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award:

India has been producing outstanding performers in different fields of sports. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given to those sports persons, who excel in their respective sports. The main aim of conferring such an honor is to enhance the general status of players, and to give them greater dignity. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is presented to individual players and teams for showing consistent performance in international tournaments. The Indian Government started this award scheme in 1991-92 with the objective of providing a greater form of reward and prestige, to sports persons in India.

According to the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award Scheme, players or teams are awarded a cash prize of Rs. 5,00,000, a medal and a certificate from the MYAS. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award offers the highest cash prize for sports persons, which makes it more special for teams and players who receive it.

4. Special Awards to Medal Winners in International Sports Events:

These Special Awards are meant for those who win a medal at renowned competitions at the international level. The main objective of presenting these special awards is to encourage the participation of upcoming talent at international level competitions, and excellent performances. This award is given to players who win medals in events such as the Olympics, World Championships, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. Along with awards for different sports categories, special awards are also given in the fields of billiards and chess.

The Special Awards include cash rewards ranging from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 1 crore, depending on the medals won at numerous top-level competitions. Apart from senior players, junior players are also given special awards for winning medals in world, Asian and Commonwealth Championships. Such awards do not just boost the morale of players, but also encourage them to perform outstandingly, in the future.

5. Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy:

Apart from giving awards to individual players and teams, MYAS has come up with the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy for those universities that have performed outstandingly and have given good all-round performance in the year of the award. This award is given to encourage the universities and recognize their overall performance in sporting events. MYAS instituted this award in 1956-57. According to this award scheme, the winner will get a replica of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy and a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh. This cash prize is for acquiring sports equipment. The second and third prize winner will receive cash prizes of Rs. 1,00,000 lakh and Rs. 50,000 respectively.

6. Dhyanchand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games:

The Dhyanchand Award has been launched recently to honour those sports persons who have performed excellently throughout their life, and who continue to promote sports even after their retirement from active sports. The Government of India instituted this award in 2002. The Dhyanchand Lifetime Achievement Award is amongst the highest honors awarded  to sports persons in India. As a part of this award, sports persons will receive a cash prize of Rs. 1,50,000, a plaque and a scroll of honor.

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