GURUGRAM: The state sports department wants people of all districts to know their heroes and be inspired by them, said district sports officer JG Banerjee on Wednesday.
He was referring to the felicitation of 28 from Gurugram by the state minister of social justice and empowerment, Kavita Jain, with cash prizes amounting to a total of around Rs 49.5 lakh on . Star players from the district who were felicitated for their achievements over the past year at the event, held at the city’s Tau Devi Lal Stadium, included international-level kabaddi player , Rio Olympics swimmer Shivani Kataria and national-level archer Priyanka Thakran.
Anup Kumar was a cash prize of Rs 21 lakh for winning a gold medal in kabaddi at the 2016 South Asian Games and for his performance in the League. “People in my village, Palra, know only how to play kabaddi. I was motivated to play after seeing the locals play,” Kumar said.
Shivani Kataria, the first Indian woman swimmer to participate in the Summer Olympics after 2004, was felicitated with a cash prize of Rs 5.5 lakh. “It’s great to get recognition but the facilities for swimmers in Gurugram need a major overhaul. I do most of my training in Delhi and Bangalore as the facilities here are not up to the mark,” Shivani told TOI. The city has only one public swimming pool, which is not even temperature-controlled.
Speaking about the awards, Banerjee said, “This year, players were felicitated in their respective districts for the first time. Earlier, all players were awarded in an event in Panchkula.”
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