Sport is a profession and not an extra-curricular anymore, so change the script — GoSports Foundation's Annual Sports Awards Night
GoSports Foundation's Annual Sports Awards Night was a star-studded affair with Olympians and Paralympic medallists gracing the much-awaited award show.
Indian sport stars who honed the limelight throughout 2021 descended on the red carpet for GoSports Foundation's 7th Annual Sports Awards Night. With the year being an incredible one for Olympic as well as Paralympic athletes that saw a lot of medal showers - the Annual Sports Awards Night was well-curated and saw athletes from a range of different sports turning up for the event at the Sofitel Mumbai BKC hotel, looking dapper in their outfits.
Attended by the who's who of the Indian sporting world - dynamic table tennis paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, shooter Anjum Moudgil, Paralympics gold medallist Sumit Antil, Paralympics bronze medallists Sharad Kumar, Manoj Sarkar and star weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga - the GoSports Foundation Annual Sports Awards Night was a highly spirited affair.
The event also saw athletes from a variety of budding sports like canoe, rock climbing also present in the gathering.
Not only athletes, coaches, physios, experts, and various known faces from the corporate circle as well as stakeholders were also present to cheer on these athletes and truly celebrate them for the wonderful year they have presented us with.
Simply returning that favour, the GoSports Foundation stuck to tradition and awarded the athletes for their exemplary performances. Hosted by Suhail Chandhok, one of the top Indian television presenters, the mood of the evening swung between inspiring, engaging, and entertaining at the same time.
The CEO of GoSports Foundation Deepthi Bopaiah addressed the august gathering and expressed her views on how sport can make a difference, "Sport has always been looked at as a luxury in some sense. But I think, when you actually see the whole country coming together and cheering for all these role models that have such a huge impact on the entire sporting community. When they go back home, the kind of welcome they have received for just being an Olympian or a Paralympian is so heartening. Also, there are stereotypes being broken, especially for women, in terms of the equality side of it. A lot of women's power is happening also." Deepthi also urged other corporates to understand what they can bring to the table to uplift the current status of Indian sports through their various CSR initiatives, as well.
Paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, while mentioning how sports has changed over the years in India and what the role of GoSports Foundation has been in terms of helping Indian athletes said, "Sport is a profession and not an extra-curricular anymore," that perfectly resonated with the #ChangeTheScript motto of GoSports Foundation. Sharad Kumar also highlighted how GoSports has helped in adding the professional element.
There were quite a few fetching awards that were given away during the course of the evening. While a lot of cheers came for Most Promising Athlete of the Year - Jeremy Lalrinnunga who turned up the style quotient in his beige jacket ensemble, paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran was awarded as the Most Improved Performer of the Year after having a sensational 2021, especially on the WTT tour. Other than Sathiyan, badminton player Malvika Bansod and compound archer Muskan Kirar also won for the same category.
However, the star attraction of the evening was the Olympic and Paralympic Athlete of the Year awards. While fencer Bhavani Devi and discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur walked away with the top honours in the Olympic category, the Paralympic Athlete of the Year award was a starry list with gold medallist para shooters Avani Lekhara and Manish Narwal and gold medallist para javelin athlete Sumit Antil receiving the loudest roar in the house.
Dotted with several funny, wise, inspiring but wholly positive moments galore, the GoSports Foundation's Annual Sports Awards Night was truly an exhilarating affair as athletes made merry, shook their legs and hands, and toasted to a year well-played and looked ahead excitedly towards 2022 which has the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games right around the corner.