Sportspersons honoured with SJAN-Raisoni Achievers’ Awards in Nagpur
Nagpur: Former India hockey goalkeeper, ex-men and women teams’ coach and ‘Chak De India’ fame Mir Ranjan Negi said that life is beautiful. One must never give up in sports and life and try to always be happy.
The legendary hockey player was speaking at SJAN-Raisoni Achievers’ Awards function in Nagpur wherein Sports Journalists’ Association of Nagpur (SJAN) and Raisoni Group of Institutions jointly felicitated meritorious sportspersons of the city at Hotel Centre Point on Sunday.
At the outset, the guests including Pranav Sharma, Senior President, Baidyanath Ayurved Limited; Mrunal Naik, Project Head, Raisoni Group of Institutions’ Sports and Cultural Foundation, SJAN President Dr Ram Thakur and Secretary Paritosh Pramanik started the proceedings by lighting the traditional lamp. Dr Thakur made introductory remarks and the SJAN team honoured the guests.
Negi said, “I was India’s number one goalkeeper for four years from 1978 to 1982 and I single-handedly won many games for India. But that one bad game against Pakistan in Asiad ’82 final where we lost 1-7, changed my life for years. People said I took Rs 1 lakh for each goal as a bribe for selling my country. I could not sleep properly for years. The pain I endured was much, much more than was shown in the movie. I also lost my teenage son due to an accident. But slowly, I realised that if we feel and remain sad, we spread sadness and make the atmosphere gloomy. Likewise, we make the environment happy, when we are happy. One must learn to face challenges and failures in sports and life. And sports teaches us never to give up,” said the ace hockey player narrating his life’s story.
Negi’s comments were punctuated by couplets from famous poets including former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. Praising sports journalists’ role in the success of players, Negi said, “Recognising talent and appreciating it with rewards encourages sportspersons to do better and better. Sports journalists play an important role in the success of any player.”
Sharma and Naik also addressed the gathering urging students to play sports. Yoga player Vaibhav Shrirame, women cricket captain of Vidarbha Disha Kasat, upcoming badminton player Aditya were awarded the GH Raisoni Trophies while international table tennis player Jennifer Varghese was presented the Baidyanath Trophy. Though Disha and Jennifer could not attend the ceremony as they were busy with their matches out of the city, their video messages were played for the audience. Nagpur District Football Association President Haresh Vora was honoured with Meeradevi Dasture Trophy in sports organiser’s category.
The Blind Relief Association Nagpur’s Mundle English Medium School and Taywade College, Koradi were felicitated for their contribution in the field of sports with Centre Point School and KC Bajaj Trophies respectively. Kishor Bagde conducted the proceedings while Anupam Soni proposed a vote of thanks. Many prominent sports personalities including officials of various sports organisations, sportspersons along with SJAN members were present.