Deepak Niwas Hooda gets Arjuna Award, Manpreet gets Dhyan Chand
Three awards went to Kabaddi's way this year after the national sporting honors were announced by the Government of India. Deepak Niwas Hooda, who led the Indian team to a gold medal at 2019 South Asian Games has won the Arjuna Award while Gujarat Fortune Giants coach Manpreet Singh has been honored with Dhyan Chand Award, for his lifetime contribution in coaching. Former Indian team coach Krishan Kumar Hooda has received the Dronacharya Award (Lifetime Category).
Krishan Kumar Hooda has taken the Indian team to victories at the South Asian Games as well as the Asian Kabaddi Championships. Not only that, but Hooda has also coached the Haryana Kabaddi team and guided them to national title victories in 2001 and 2002. He has been associated with Pro Kabaddi franchise Dabang Delhi KC from the last two seasons. Under his coaching, the team reached the finals at Pro Kabaddi 2019 and also saw the rise of many talented youngsters over the two years.
Deepak is the 25th Kabaddi player to receive the prestigious Arjuna Award. He joins the elite group of former Kabaddi team captain Anup Kumar, Ajay Thakur, Manjeet Chhillar, Rakesh Kumar, Ram Mehar Singh and Raju Bhavsar who have been honored in the past. A member of the Indian men's Kabaddi team since 2016, Deepak has come a long way to successfully leading the team in an international tournament. India had remained undefeated at the 2019 SAG in Nepal and went on to win the gold medal. It was India's 10th gold at the tournament and seventh consecutive one.
Manpreet is only the second Kabaddi player to have won the Dhyan Chand Award since Shamsher Singh won in 2007. After having represented India on the International platform and won the coveted Pro Kabaddi title Patna Pirates, Manpreet Singh took the reigns of Gujarat Fortune Giants as their coach. He guided the team to two back to back finals and also went on to mentor youngsters like Rohit Gulia, Parvesh Bhainswal, Sunil Kumar, and Ruturaj Koravi.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Sports Awards will take place virtually this year on the 29th of August.