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New Delhi, Jan 29: Indian Badminton great Prakash Padukone was conferred with the prestigious Badminton Association of India's Lifetime Achievement Award here on Monday. The 1983 World Championship medallist was honoured by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, who coined Padukone as the legend of the great game. Naidu also remarked that the former badminton star has inspired many to take up the sport by bringing laurels to the country despite a fundamental lack of infrastructural facilities during his time. "I am sure this felicitation of Padukone will inspire others," Naidu said. Meanwhile, the gold medallist in the Commonwealth Games 1978 and All England Championships 1980 said he recalls the support he got from the BAI and state association during his playing days. Padukone also said that he is impressed by the way the game is progressing in the country and happy about the medals being clinched by the Indian shuttlers at the major tournaments. Source: India Today 'I remember the gratitude and support I got from the BAI and the Karnataka state association during my playing time. "I would like to thank my family, my friends, fellow players of my playing days, "I am delighted the way the sport has progressed in the country. We are winning medals at major competitions and throwing new talents to the bigger field,' Padukone said. The Indian badminton great said he feels the sport has gained popularity in the country, thanks to media. It stands behind cricket. 'Nowadays, media coverage has grown, sponsorships are also coming players' way and the number of tournaments has also increased. "Badminton has become the second biggest sport after cricket in the country,' Padukone said. Padukone further highlighted that BAI should have the motive to produce players from every small town and cities. He also wants the sport's governing body to academies in as many states as possible. Alongside Padukone, his wife Ujjwala and daughters Deepika and Anisha were present at the felicitation.