New Delhi: Hockey India on Thursday announced the recommended players for the esteemed Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award and Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement 2018.
Experienced midfielder Dharamvir Singh, Manpreet Singh and Indian women’s team ace goalkeeper Savita Punia have been recommended for the Arjuna Award while Sanggai Ibemhal Chanu and former India men’s captain Bharat Chetri have been recommended for the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Hockey India also recommended coach BS Chauhan for the Dronacharya Award.
Speaking on the recommendations, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India said, “We are happy to endorse these hockey players who have immensely contributed to Indian Hockey. They have proven their worth with significant performances that has elevated the Indian Team to new heights. They have donned the India colours with pride and have given it their all to help the team win several accolades within the country and internationally. We at Hockey India are proud of their achievements and are happy to recommend their names for the National awards.”
Dharamvir Singh from Punjab formed the midfield of the Indian team and was part of the gold medal feat at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea. He was also part of the Indian team that participated at the 2012 London Olympics and has also represented the country at the 2014 Men’s Hockey World Cup in Hague, The Netherlands.
Manpreet Singh, on the other hand, captained the Indian team in the absence of PR Sreejesh who was injured last year.
Manpreet was part of the Asia Cup success where India beat Malaysia to lift the title. He also led the Indian team to a bronze medal at the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017.
With over 200 International Caps for the Indian Team, Manpreet Singh was part of the Indian Team that participated at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.
Manpreeet was part of the team that clinched an history Silver Medal at the FIH Champions Trophy in London last year, as well as a Silver in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He also has the Asian Games Gold Medal to his credit.
Indian women’s team goalkeeper Savita has been a trusted guard in the Indian post over the past few years. The 27-year-old from Haryana was instrumental in India’s historic Asia Cup win last year where she made a stunning save in the penalty shootout that helped India beat higher ranked China in the final.
Her performance was critical in helping India qualify for the World Cup as Continental Champions after a gap of 13 years. Savita has been part of the Indian team’s resurgence and was part of the Indian team that qualified for the Olympics after 36 years.
Savita was also key member of the team that won the Asian Champions Trophy in 2016 and also played instrumental in the recently-held 21st edition of the Commonwealth Games where India made it to the semi-final after 12 long years and eventually finished fourth in the quadrennial event.
Former India player Sanggai Ibemhal Chanu, recommended for the Lifetime Achievement Award, was part of the Indian women’s team that won the 2002 Commonwealth Games Gold in Manchester followed by a Silver Medal in 2006, Melbourne.
She also significantly contributed to the team’s success at the 2014 Asia Cup in New Delhi where the team lifted the trophy in front of home crowd. She also has a Bronze Medal to her credit at the 2002 Champions Challenge in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In her international career spanning over a decade, Chanu has represented the country twice at the World Cup in 1998 and 2006. Bharat Chetri, former India Goalkeeper and Captain, led the team in 2012 London Olympics. He was part of the Indian team that won Silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. He also won a Bronze Medal at the 2010 Asian Games. Currently, he is mentoring the Indian goalkeepers both men and women.
Retired senior hockey coach BS Chauhan, recommended for the Dronacharya Award, has long served hockey as the coach at Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru. Ever-enthusiastic to develop hockey at the grassroots, BS Chauhan has also assisted the Indian team coaches and provided his full support when the teams were based out of SAI, Bengaluru.