Celebrated as the National Sports Day, the birth anniversary of Dhyan Chand, the genius wielding a hockey stick, is a good time to reflect on hockey in India from the national recognition point of view.
This year, the grandeur of receiving the awards at the Rashtrapati Bhavan was missed by the awardees as India honoured its sporting achievers – players, coaches, and mentors – in a virtual ceremony. For each hockey player, coach or mentor proud to be among the honours list on August 29, there are names from the past which have been overlooked for a specific award.
For example, Olympian and noted hockey coach, the late Balkishan Singh’s name is missing from the list of Dronacharya awardees for outstanding coaches so far.
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Thirteen coaches have been honoured so far. Gurdial Singh Bhangu was the first recipient in 2000, Jude Felix…