GoSports Foundation organised the eighth edition of its flagship Annual Sports Awards Night, celebrating India’s sporting ascension enabled by the stellar achievements of Indian athletes during the 2022 season.
This year, 12 awards were presented, including 2 each under the male and female categories for the Athlete of the Year (Olympic Sports) and Athlete of the Year (Paralympic Sports) awards to the athletes supported by the Foundation across its athlete scholarship programmes.
Athlete of the Year – Olympic Sport Award (Male) went to Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (Badminton doubles). The duo was an integral part of the historic Thomas Cup win, Gold medalists at the Commonwealth Games, bronze medalists at the World Championships, and finally gold medalists at the French Open. “It has been a truly memorable year for us, winning the French Open, a bronze at the World Championships, followed by medals at the CWG as well. This recognition motivates both of us to build the momentum going forward and focus on the upcoming goals for the new season. Having breached the top-5 in the world, it’s surely exciting for us, but the key will be to maintain our consistency and we hope to perform well,” stated Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy on winning the award.
“GoSports’ support has been crucial for us throughout the journey we’ve both had. They always have our backs and their belief in us is surely a confidence booster,” the duo added.
In the female category, Anjum Moudgil (Shooting) and Nethra Kumanan (Sailing) were awarded. While Anjum rose to a career high world rank of 1 in the women’s 3P shooting event, won a silver medal at the ISSF Shooting World Cup, Baku, clinched a bronze medal at the ISSF Shooting World Cup, Korea, and set a new national record; Nethra made history last year as the first female Indian sailor to qualify for the Olympics, and has been beyond impressive this year. Clinched a bronze medal at the Asian Sailing Championships and earned multiple other accolades at the domestic and international levels.
“Just like every year, I was waiting for December because of the Annual Awards Night and it never fails to be the best time off and meeting the amazing para-champions, all the athletes from different sports supported by GoSports and of course meeting the best Team of GoSports and the partners is what I look upto at the end of the year. Truly Thankful to my Family at Gosports for believing in me and awarding me the Athlete of the Year Award and this journey from last 8 years with the team can be best Explained as an extended family in Sports area to help us grow mentally and physically and be there for us throughout. Happy to be the Athlete of the year , working hard feels appreciated when the team that supports you is proud!” stated an elated Anjum.
Nethra too expressed her delight on being recognised with the Athlete of the Year – Olympic Sport Award (Female) award. She said, “I’m surprised and grateful for having received this award tonight. It’s been a long and hard year, that I ended well with an Asian gold with Gosports and dream sports standing by me through it all has been extremely gratifying. The dreamgold programme presented by dream sports foundation has played an integral role in the meaningful progress I have made this year, and I cannot wait to see what next year holds in store.”
List of Awardees:
Against All Odds Award
Winner – Sonia Sharma (Para-Shooter)
Enabler of the Year Award
Winner – Ekta Bhyan (Para-Club and Discus Throw)
Spotlight of the Year Award
Winners – Treesa Jolly & Gayatri Pullela (Badminton Doubles) and Jeremy Lalrinnunga (Weightlifting)
Most Promising Athlete of the Year Award
Winner – Sankar Muthusamy (Badminton)
Most Consistent Performer of the Year Award
Winners – Manoj Sarkar (Para-Badminton) and Bhavani Devi (Fencing)
Most Improved Performer of the Year Award
Winner – Neeraj Yadav (Para-Javelin Throw)
Joseph Ollapally Memorial Award
Winners – Malvika Bansod (Badminton) and Shahu Mane (Shooting)
Spirit of the Sport Award
Winners – Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy (Badminton)
Athlete of the Year – Olympic Sport Award (Male)
Winners – Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (Badminton doubles)
Athlete of the Year – Olympic Sport Award (Female)
Winners – Anjum Moudgil (Shooting) – Rose to a career high world rank of 1 in the women’s 3P shooting event, won a silver medal at the ISSF Shooting World Cup, Baku, clinched a bronze medal at the ISSF Shooting World Cup, Korea, and set a new national record.
Nethra Kumanan (Sailing) – Made history last year as the first female Indian sailor to qualify for the Olympics, and has been beyond impressive this year. Clinched a bronze medal at the Asian Sailing Championships and earned multiple other accolades at the domestic and international levels.
Athlete of the Year – Paralympic Sport Award (Male)
Winner – Sumit Antil (Para-Javelin Throw) – Since clinching the gold medal after obliterating three world records at the Tokyo Paralympics last year, he only seems to have gotten better this year. Broke his own world record, yet again, with a monstrous throw this year.
Athlete of the Year – Paralympic Sport Award (Female)
Winners – Parul Parmar (Para-Badminton) – Aged 49, she enjoyed a dominant season where she coasted to several medals across international para-badminton competitions, with the crowning moment of the season coming with a bronze medal win at the 2022 BWF Para-Badminton World Championship, Japan.
Jyoti Balyan (Para-Archer) – Last year at the Tokyo Paralympics, she was the only female Indian archer. This year, she has continued to rise further and clinched an extremely impressive silver medal at the Dubai Para World Archery Championships.