The Maruti Suzuki Awards, initiated by Sports Illustrated were introduced in order to give Indian sportspersons some much needed recognition. The Gala dinner brought together players from different eras, different sports, and helped them connect with each other at a more personal level.
The event was a celebration of Indian sports and all the people involved embraced the occasion in the best possible way.
PV Sindhu was presented with the most prestigious award of the night, The Sportsperson of the Year’, and Abhinav Bindra bagged the ‘Lifetime Achievement award’.
Bindra was honoured to receive the award, but was quick to add that he did not quite expect the award at the age of 34.
“As a 12-year-old boy, I hated sports. I had one talent that is to work hard,” Bindra said.
Milkha Singh too was felicitated, as he received the ‘Living legend’ award for his contribution to the field of athletics.
KL Rahul won the ‘Game changer of the year’ award for his brilliant Test performances in India’s home season. He wasn’t present at the event, but was kind enough to send in a video message for his fans.
Gopichand won the ‘Coach of the year’ award for dishing out so many young Badminton stars and setting up a good domestic circuit for them to flourish in.
Here is the full list of awardees:
Special award for service to Sports: Jayant Rastogi, CEO, Magic Bus.
Team of the year: Junjor Men’s Hockey Team (received by captain Harjeet Singh).
Coach of the year: Pullela Gopichand.
Editor’s Award for excellence: Devendra Jhajharia, MariyappanThangavelu, Varun Bhati.
Outstanding Contribution to sports: K Arumugam.
Athlete of the year: Gaurav Gill.
Gamechanger of the year: K.L Rahul
Extreme Performer of the year: Shiva Keshavan
Lifetime Achievement Award: Abhinav Bindra
Community Development through sports: Milind Soman (Received by his mother Usha Soman).
Inspirational athlete of the year: Deepa Malik
Living Legend: Milkha Singh
Sportsperson Of The Year: P V Sindhu.