Chhetri and golfer Aditi Ashok were honoured with the ACT Fibernet-SWAB ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ awards in the senior category on Saturday.

Bengaluru FCs Sunil Chhetri bags top honours at ACT Fibernet-SWAB awards
news Sports Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 14:05

Bengaluru FC striker Sunil Chhetri and professional golfer Aditi Ashok were honoured with the ACT Fibernet-SWAB ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ awards in the senior category at an event held in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Chhetri, who plays for the national football team and for Bengaluru FC, had competed with cricketer KL Rahul, tennis player Rohan Bopanna, who recently won the French Open Mixed Doubles, and top snooker player Pankaj Advani.

“When I started off, I was scared of journalists. Over time, I recognised the role they played and built a relationship with them. This best sportsperson award is all thanks to the entire BFC team,” Chhetri said.

India’s highest test wicket-taker and former captain Anil Kumble was awarded ‘Coach of the Year’.

Harendra Singh, coach of the Indian women’s hockey team, presented the award to Kumble, under whom India won five successive Test series between July 2016 and March 2017.

“I think coaches in cricket don’t have too much to say or too much to do. Nonetheless, this is an excellent recognition of all the good work that the team did over the past one year and they have continued with their winning ways. I’m confident that the team which we have will certainly go on to create history in South Africa and then beyond. The team under Virat certainly has the capabilities to achieve that,” Kumble said.

The event was also attended by Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra, who recounted his days practising shooting in Bengaluru.

“Bangalore (Bengaluru) holds a very special place in my heart. I spent many days of my youth shooting at the SAI South Centre here. There is something in the air of Bangalore that makes it special for sports,” Bindra was quoted as saying in a press statement.

Former India hockey captain MP Ganesh was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, while Bengaluru FC was adjudged ‘Team of the Year’.

Ganesh had won a bronze at the 1972 Olympic Games. The 72-year-old said that government officials, journalists and former athletes need to come together to cultivate sports talent in India.

Racing driver Arjun Maini and swimmer Damini K Gowda were awarded the ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ in the junior category.

Maini, a former SWAB award winner, had set a record after becoming the first Indian driver to win a GP3 race after emerging victorious in the sprint race in Barcelona in May this year. The 20-year-old has also been signed by Haas Formula One team as a development driver.

Damini, who won five gold medals in the Junior National Aquatic Championships in July 2016, put on a stellar show and bagged two gold and three bronze medals at the Senior Championship in 2016. She also won two golds and a silver at the National School Games Championship.

K Sriram, a member of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) media staff, was recognised by SWAB with the ‘Behind the Scenes’ award while the Karnataka Badminton Association (KBA) walked away with the ‘Association of the Year’ award.


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