NEW DELHI: The FICCI India Sports Awards, which were held virtually on Tuesday evening as part of the 10th Global Sports Summit: FICCI TURF 2020, recognized excellent performances and contributions over the past year.
Tata Steel has been recognised as the "Best Organisation Contributing in Sports through CSR".
Chanakya Chaudhary, vice president Corporate Services, Tata Steel, received the award on behalf of the company.
On receiving the award, Chaudhary said: "At Tata Steel, Sports is a way of life. Tata Steel's association with sports dates back nearly a century, and is an integral part of its culture. The local community has always been at the core of the sports activities that Tata Steel supports. While sports has served as a unique link between Tata Steel's business and the community outreach, its role in the company's culture and identity has grown stronger than ever. Through its Sports Academies and Training Centres, Tata Steel has helped shape some of India's iconic sporting talents over the years. We are humbled with this recognition from India Sports Awards and it also re-affirms our commitment towards the development of sports and athletes."
Six years ago, Tata Steel started the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, a 25-km run that has a social cause at its heart “supporting the Tata Medical Centre, a cancer hospital in Kolkata. Tata Steel has also organised running events annually in Jamshedpur and Noamundi (in Jharkhand) and Bhubaneswar and Angul (in Odisha). This year, in view of the pandemic, the company organised its first-ever Virtual Run.
Tata Steel established the Jamshedpur Athletic Club in 1927 and started sports competitions for working men, women and their children. The company set up the Tata Youth Adventure Centre, known today as Tata Steel Adventure Foundation, in 1984. Three years later in 1987, the company launched the Tata Football Academy followed by the establishment of Tata Archery Academy in 1996. Indian athletics too received a boost when Tata Steel unveiled the Tata Athletics Academy in 2004. In 2017, Tata Steel for the first time stepped into commercial side of sports when it started Jamshedpur Football Club (JFC), which competes in Hero Indian Super League, a promising platform for budding football talent to compete with international and national athletes. The same year saw the emergence of Naval Tata Hockey Academy. Besides these academies, Tata Steel has also established training centres for 18 sports disciplines including Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Cricket, Chess, Football, Golf, Handball, Horse Riding, Karate, Kabaddi, Roll Ball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis and Volleyball.
Tata Steel continues to add value to the overall sports ecosystem of the country by providing world-class infrastructure support and training through experienced and qualified coaches and support staff. Over the years, the efforts by Tata Steel has produced athletes who have been recognised with the highest honour in the country. So far, Tata Steel has earned 1 Padma Bhushan, 11 Padma Shrees, 1 Khel Ratna, 1 Dhyan Chand, 6 Dronacharya and 42 Arjuna awardees. The company believes in building a better future for all, and it is committed to continue to do this through the medium of sport.
Bajrang Punia, Elavenil Valarivan bag top honours
Meanwhile, Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes, wrestler Bajrang Punia and shooter Elavenil Valarivan on Tuesday evening bagged the top honours at the FICCI India Sports Awards 2020 held virtually this year on the back of the prestigious 10th Global Sports Summit: FICCI TURF 2020.
The two athletes, who have had an impressive 2019-20, won the Sports Person of the Year Awards in their respective categories. Freestyle wrestler Punia, who is currently training in the USA, expressed his delight at receiving the Award. “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,” he said.
Cricket legend Anil Kumble was also present on the occasion as he received the ‘Best Company Promoting Sports (Private Sector)’ award on behalf of his enterprise - Tenvic Sports. Meanwhile, Ms 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 to receive their respective awards.
The FICCI India Sports Awards 2020 have been conferred by a jury headed by Mukul Mudgal.
Full list of awardees of the FICCI India Sports Awards 2020:
Best State Promoting Sports
Government of Madhya Pradesh
Government of Assam
Best Organisation Contributing in Sports Through CSR
Best Company Promoting Sports (Public Sector)
Indian Air force
Best Company Promoting Sports (Private Sector)
Best National Sports Federation
Paralympic Committee of India
Wrestling Federation of India
Sports Person of the Year
Breakthrough Sportsperson of the Year
Best NGO Promoting Sports
Magic Bus India Foundation
Pullela Gopichand Badminton Foundation
Lifetime Achievement Award
Para-athlete of the Year
Sundar Singh Gurjar
Sports Journalist of the Year
Coach of the Year
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
The FICCI India Sports Awards are an attempt by FICCI to acknowledge and recognize the contribution of sportspersons and various stakeholders who deliver excellent results throughout the year.