This is the fourth edition of the India chapter, which is inspired by the world’s most prestigious sports awards—the Sportsman Of The Year—established by Sports Illustrated US in 1954.
Every year, SI India honours individuals and teams that have made the biggest impact in the world of sports in India. The first three years saw Saina Nehwal and Leander Paes, the Indian cricket team and Yuvraj Singh win the award.
“2012 was an interesting year for Indian sport. Being an Olympic year, the focus of the nation was on the athletes performing in London. Although the Indian contingent came back without a gold, there were fascinating individual performances that gave us the opportunity to recognise Indian athletes who have become world beaters outside the cricket field,” said Siddhanth Aney, Editor Sports Illustrated India.
At the awards while Cricketer Virat Kohli appreciated Unmukt by calling him hard working. Young cricketer Unmukt Chand said “my idols are Virat Kohli, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj among others. I am regularly asked for tips and how it feels to have reached this level. I will soon be writing a book about my experiences and learning”
Winner of the sporting moment of the year in Paralympics H. Nagarajegowda Girisha promised that he would definitely try for gold next time.
Part of the .Editors Award for Excellence & India’s Olympic medalists for shootingVijay Kumar said “I was left by few shots. It was a tough completion and difference shots was just by 3-4. There were more changes to be made and last minute change in rules made it work harder”.
Internationally, the awardee list has been largely dominated by Americans— including Billie Jean King (1972), Muhammad Ali (1974), Jack Nicklaus (1978), Michael Jordan (1991), Tiger Woods (1996, 2000), Lance Armstrong (2002) and Michael Phelps (2008)—though first Sportsman Of The Year was Britain’s Sir Roger Bannister, who ran the first official sub-four minute mile.
“Our country has a myriad of talent and recognising that excellence is essential. For the world of sports there are but a few platforms and it is a pleasure for Pullman Gurgaon Central Park to be partnering with Sports Illustrated for the second year running.” said Mr Jagan Lascher, General Manager, Pullman Gurgaon Central Park:
“The Sportsperson Of The Year award is the world’s most coveted sports award from Sports Illustrated, where we aim to recognise and honour talent and performances from across the world of Indian sport,” said Piyush Sharma, CEO of Media Transasia, SI’s publishers in India.
The 14 categories and awardees this year were:
· Sportskid of the Year – Uttam Rai (Football)
· Outstanding Contribution to Sport – Tata
· Sporting Moment of the Year – Girisha H. Nagarajegowda (Paralympics)
· Surprise Package of the Year – S.S. Virk (Rowing) and K.T. Irfan (Athletics)
· Domestic Performance of the Year – Services
· Administrator of the Year – Service Sports Control Board
· Editors Award for Excellence – India’s Olympic medallists
· Gamechanger of the Year – Sushil Kumar (Wrestling)
· Coach of the Year – P.Gopichand (Badminton)
· Team of the Year – India U-19 Cricket Team (Cricket)
· Young Player of the Year – Unmukt Chand (Cricket)
· Lifetime Achievement Award – Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman (Cricket)
· Athlete of the Year- Virat Kohli (Cricket)
· Sportsperson of the Year - Saina Nehwal (Badminton)
Title sponsor Clear, powered by Renault, associate sponsors for the event include Herbalife, Godrej Properties and Firefox (Cycles). Headlines Today is the TV Partner. This year’s awards also have The Pullman Gurgaon Central Park as the Hospitality Partner.
About Sports Illustrated Sports Illustrated is the largest selling sports magazine in the world, read by over 23 million people. First published by Time Warner in 1954, it is the quintessential voice of sport in the USA, winning countless awards for its incisive, arresting journalism and stunning imagery. With contributions from the biggest names in sports journalism, respected for their vast knowledge, insight and access, as well as for its stunning photography, SI has made a mark for itself, its independent voice becoming an arbiter of sporting status. SI India mirrors all of these attributes and is committed to pushing the boundaries of sports journalism and photography in the country to compliment these values.