Pramod, Swayams Bag OSJA Sportsperson Of Year Awards For 2019 & 2020
Cuttack: Para-badminton world champion Pramod Bhagat, chess Grandmaster Swayams Mishra and eminent athletics coaches Panchanan Gantayat and Arun Kumar Das were honoured at the Odisha Sports Journalists Association (OSJA) Annual Awards function at Barabati Stadium here on Sunday.
The awards, which carry cheques for Rs 25,000 each and citations, were conferred for 2019 and 2020.
Pramod and Swayams were declared OSJA Sportsperson of the Year 2019 and 2020, respectively, while Panchanan Gantayat and Arun Das bagged the OSJA Lifetime Achievement Awards for 2019 and 2020, respectively.
In Gantayat’s absence, his brother received the award.
Odisha Football Association and Odisha Athletics Association secretary Asirbad Behera, athletics Olympian Anuradha Biswal and former football international Rajendra Prasad Singh graced the function and presented the awards.
Eminent mediapersons Hrudayanath Das, Shyamakanta Pattanayak and Pramod’s doubles partner Manoj Sarkar were felicitated on the occasion, which coincided with the sixth Foundation Day of OSJA.
OSJA president Sandeep Mishra, working president K Ravi, organising committee secretary Susanta Mohanty and secretary Sambit Mohapatra were also present.
Swayams became the second Grandmaster from Odisha and 62nd in India in May 2020.
Before taking to coaching, Arun Kumar Das excelled as a javelin thrower, winning two junior national bronze medals. He created a meet record of 57.96m at the Junior National Athletics Championship in Ahmedabad, 50 years ago.
Das, who obtained a coaching diploma in athletics from National Institute of Sports, Patiala, in 1974-75, groomed many national and international athletes including Anuradha Biswal. Das served as a government athletics coach for 35 years before retiring in 2010.
Odisha Sports Journalists’ Association (OSJA), affiliated to Sports Journalists’ Federation of India, has been conferring Annual Awards since 2018.
International heptathlete Purnima Hembram and veteran footballer Debendra Singh received the maiden OSJA Sportsperson and Lifetime Achievement Awards for 2017. In 2019, the awards were bestowed on hockey star Amit Rohidas and boxing coach Braja Bhusan Mohanty.