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Sports Awards of India, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna, Drona Award

This article is all about different Sports awards of India. There are five different Sports awards which are given by Government of India and are considered as National level Sports Awards. Besides these National level Sports Awards there are many sports awards given by private organisations and are also considered as reputed. The National Sports Awards are conferred by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. These awards in order of priority and merit are –

  1. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award
  2. Dronacharya Award
  3. Arjuna Award
  4. Dhyan Chand Award
  5. Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar

Sports Awards of India : Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

This award is the highest rank National Sports awards of India. This award is conferred in the memory of Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. This award was started in year 1991 for the motive of appreciating and morale boosting of sports persons of India. Up to 2004 this award carried a cash prize of Rs 5 Lakhs, but from year 2005 the cash part has been increased to Rs 7.5 Lakhs. Apart from the cash this award also carries a medal and a certificate.

Interesting Facts about Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

  • Vishwanathan Anand was the first person to receive Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
  • The only chess player who has been awarded with this award so far is Vishwanathan Anand.
  • This award was not conferred to any person in year 1992-93 and year 2013-14.
  • Pankaj Advani is the only recipient who has won this award for two different sports – Billiards and Snooker.
  • Only two cricketers have received this award so far – Sachin Tendulkar in year 1997-98 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in year 2007-08.
  • Only one Hockey Player has received this award so far – Dhanraj Pillay in year 1999-20000.
  • Karnam Malleswari was the first woman Awardee of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna who belongs to weight lifting game. She was conferred with this award in year 1995-96.
  • The recent most awardees of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for year 2016 are P V Sindhu, Sakshi Malik, Jittu Rai and Dipa Karmakar. Although P V Sindhu and Sakhsi Malik won silver and bronze medal respectively at Rio Olympics but Jittu Rai and Dipa Karmakar were also selected for this award due to their all-round performance in Rio Olympics 2016.

List of Winners of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

YearWinnerGame
1991-92Viswanathan AnandChess
1992-93Geet SethiBilliards
1993-94Homi Motivala, Pushpendra Kumar GargYachting
1994-95Karnam MalleswariWeightlifting
1995-96N KunjaraniWeightlifting
1996-97Leander PaesTennis
1997-98Sachin TendulkarCricket
1998-99Jyotirmoyee SikdarAthletics
1999-2000Dhanraj PillayHockey
2000-01P GopichandBadminton
2001Abhinav BindraShooting
2002K M BeenamolAthletics
2002Anjali BhagwatShooting
2003Anju Bobby GeorgeAthletics
2004Rajyawardhan Singh RathoreShooting
2005Pankaj AdvaniBilliards, Snooker
2006Manavjit Singh SindhuShooting
2007Mahendra Singh DhooniCricket
2008NO Award given
2009Mary KomBoxing
2009Vijender SinghBoxing
2009Sushil KumarWrestling
2010Saina NehwalBadminton
2011Gagan NarangShooting
2012Vijay KumarShooting
2012Yogeshwar DuttWrestling
2013Ronjan SodhiShooting
2014NO Award given
2015Sania MirzaTennis
2016P V SindhuBadminton
2016Dipa KarmakarGymnastics
2016Jitu RaiShooting
2016Sakshi MalikWrestling

Sports Awards of India : Dronacharya Award

national sports awards of india

This award is given in the field of Coaching and teaching field of sports. This award was started in year 1985. It carries a cash prize of Rs 3 Lakhs, a bronze statue of Dronacharya and a certificate.

  • O M Nambiar, Om Prakash Bhardwaj and B B Bhagwat were the first persons to receive the Dronacharya Award jointly in year 1985. They got this award for coaching in field of Atheletics, Boxing and Wrestling respectively.
  • Desh Prem Azad (year 1986) followed by Ramakant Achrekar (year 1990) were the first two Dronacharya Awardees for coaching cricket.
  • Raghunandan V Gokhle was the first awardee for chess in year 1986.
  • Hansa Sharma was the first woman to receive this award in year 2000 for weightlifting.
  • Dronacharya Award Recipients of year 2015 – Anoop Singh (Wrestling), Harbans Singh (Athletics), Naval Singh (Para Athletics), Nihar Ameen (Swimming), Swatantrata Raj Singh (Boxing).
  • Dronacharya Award winners for year 2016 – For the year 2016 this renowned award has been given to six coaches. These are Raj Kumar Sharma (Cricket), Mahabir Singh (Athletics – lifetime), S Pradeep Kumar (Swimming-lifetime), Bishweswar Nandi (Gymnastics), Nagapuri Ramesh (Athletics), Sagarmal Dhayal (Boxing). Of these Raj Kumar Sharma is the coach of famous cricketer Virat Kohli and Bishweswar Nandi is the coach of Dipa Karmakar who stood at fourth position in Rio Olympics and missed the bronze medal by 0.15 points.

 Sports Awards of India : Arjuna Award

national sports awards of india

This is the oldest National sports award of India. It was instituted in year 1961. It is conferred by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. It carries a cash prize of Rs 5 Lakhs, a bronze statue of Arjuna and a certificate. For a sportsman to be considered eligible he should have shown good performance continuously for 3 years matching international level. The award is given for good performance in many national and international events like Olympics, Asian Games, commonwealth games. Physically handicapped category was also added for consideration of eligibility later.

Arjuna Award Winners of year 2016

Sports ministry has selected 15 sportsperson for the 2016 Arjuna Award. These sportspersons are –

  1. Ajinkay Rahane – Cricket
  2. Rajat Chauhan – Archery
  3. Shiva Thapa – Boxing
  4. Sourav Kothari – Billiards and Snooker
  5. Lalita Babar- Athletics
  6. Rani – Hockey
  7. Subrata Paul – Football
  8. V R Raghunath – Hockey
  9. Gurpreet Singh – Shooting
  10. Vinesh Phogat – Wrestling
  11. Amit Kumar – Wrestling
  12. Apurvi Chandela – Shooting
  13. Soumyajit Ghosh – Table Tennis
  14. Sandeep Singh Mann – Para Athletics
  15. Virender Singh – Wrestling (deaf)

Interesting Facts about Arjuna Awards

  • First Arjun Award winners of year 1961 were – Saleem Durani (cricket), Manuel Aaron (chess), L B D’souza (Boxing), Sarabjeet Singh (Basket Ball), Nandu Natekar (Badminton), Gurucharan Singh Randhawa (Atheletics).
  • Krishna Das was the first Arjun Award winner in field of Archery in year 1981.
  • J. Pitchyya was the first Arjuna award winner in Ball Badminton in year 1970.
  • Wilson Jones was the first Arjuna awardee for Billiards & Snooker category in year 1963.
  • Amar Singh was the first Arjuna awardee in cycling in year 1975.
  • The recent cricketers who received this award are Zaheer Khan (2011), Yuvraj Singh (2012), Virat Kohli (2013), Ravichandran Ashwin (2014).
  • Meena Shah was the first woman to got Arjuna award in year 1962. She is known for her Badminton game.
  • Diana Eduji was the first woman to get Arjuna Award in Cricket in 1983.

Dhyan Chand Award

It is the highest sports awards for lifetime achievement. The award is conferred in the memory of Hockey legend Dhayn Chand. This award was started in year 2002. It carries a cash prize of Rs 5 Lakhs, shield and a certificate.

  • Aparna Ghosh (for Basketball) was the first person to receive this prestigious Dhyan Chand Award in year 2002.
  •  The only person to get this award in Kabaddi category is Shamsher Singh in year 2007.
  • The only person to get this award in Billiards & Snooker category is Manoj Kothari in year 2005.
  • winners of Dhyan Chand Award for year 2015 are Romeo James (Hockey), Shiv Prakash Mishra (Tennis), T P P Nair (Volleyball).
  • Dhyanchand award lifetime achievement award for year 2016 will be given to Rajendra Prahlad Shelke (Rowing), Satti Geetha (Athletics) and Sylvanus Dung Dung (Hockey).