The RP-SG Indian Sports Honours is dedicated to rewarding excellence in the field of sports. These Sports Awards will also help identify and support athletes with potential and award them scholarships. Virat Kohli and Sanjiv Goenka have jointly partnered to create this platform to honour exceptional performances, in line with their vision to support the development of Indian Sports. These Awards are special as Sports Journalists, Sporting Legends and the Fans will be coming together to reward their heroes. National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand will be heading the jury while Kohli has exempted himself from being in contention for the award ever.
“India has made rapid strides as a sporting nation. The days of being a one-sport country are behind us. The time is just right to introduce an institution that will recognise and reward our top sporting achievers and put the spotlight on those who are expected to do the country proud in the years to come,” Virat Kohli, India’s cricket captain, said at the launch of the RP-SG Indian Sports Honours, in a media conference held at the Taj Mansingh, New Delhi.
Kohli while batting for other sports said he had seen how other sports fare well in other countries and there is sporting culture. He wanted through this initiative give something back to sports which had given him so much and made him what he is today. He lauded Pullela Gopichand for his outstanding results recently and expressed happiness of the impressive results in badminton the country had achieved off- late.
This annual celebration of Indian Sport has been conceptualised and will be executed by Cornerstone Sport, a Mumbai based Sports marketing agency.
Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman, RP-SG Group, said, “What makes the RP-SG Indian Sports Honours unique is the direct involvement of the premier stakeholders of Indian Sport – the sportspersons themselves, legends who have excelled at the highest level, the fans and the sports media. Apart from the recipients who will be shortlisted and decided by the SJFI and Advisory Council respectively, there will be ‘Popular Choice’ awards whose winners will be picked directly by the fans.
In one of the key segments of the awards ceremony, promising Indian athletes with the potential to excel in global events of the near future will be awarded scholarships by the Virat Kohli Foundation (VKF) in association with the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. Scholarships will also be awarded to individuals who have undertaken exceptional initiatives to promote sports at the grassroot level. The VKF has pledged a minimum of Rs. 2 crores to be utilised every year on the beneficiaries of the scholarships. The shortlisted athletes / initiatives will be tracked through the year and their progress monitored.
Being the chief patron of this initiative, Virat has ruled himself out of contention for the awards that will be presented at the inaugural RP-SG Indian Sports Honours Ceremony, to be held in Mumbai on Saturday, 11 November 2017. The ceremony will be a black-tie, red-carpet event, with members of India’s sporting fraternity and fans in attendance.
Star India Pvt Ltd will be the Official Broadcaster of the event. Sanjay Gupta, MD, Star India, said, “At Star Sports, our endeavour is to create and develop a multi-sport culture in the country by celebrating, recognising and rewarding talent across the field. Our commitment as the official broadcaster of the RP-SG Indian Sports Honours is a resolute step towards realising this vision. These Awards offer Indian sports achievers a distinctive platform to highlight their accomplishments, which may otherwise go unnoticed. In this journey, we are proud to have a partner like cricket icon Virat Kohli, who embodies the true spirit of Indian
The Sports Journalists Federation of India (SJFI) will be an integral part of the process through which the winners will be selected. SJFI members are presently researching performances and collating the information that will help in first shortlisting the nominees, and then selecting the winners in each of the categories. Performances by Indian athletes in four team sports and twenty individual sports from 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2017 will be in contention for the awards.
“The Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI) is pleased to be associated with the RP-SG Indian Sports Honours. India’s sportspersons have begun to receive encouragement and support in a big way and recent results in many sports disciplines have been heart-warming. The RP-SG Indian Sports Honours, I am sure, will encourage sports in India and go a long way in producing world-beaters in several disciplines in the future,” A. Vinod, Secretary, SJFI, said.