Deepak Niwas Hooda nominated for Arjuna Award, Manpreet for Dhyanchand Award
Indian men's Kabaddi team skipper Deepak Niwas Hooda was one of the 29 athletes who were recommended for this year's Arjuna Award. The recommendations were given by the National Sports Awards Selection Committee to the Sports Ministry. Deepak is the only Kabaddi player who was nominated for the award this year. Former Indian team skipper Ajay Thakur had won the award in the year 2019. The National Sports Award ceremony would take place virtually on August 29 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Deepak was named the skipper for the Indian men's Kabaddi team for the 2019 South Asian Games in Nepal. Under his captaincy, the team won all their matches and went on to win the gold medal to continue the complete dominance in the tournament history. It was the first tournament for Deepak as the captain of the India team. He has been a part of the team since the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati.
Dabang Delhi KC coach and former Indian men's Kabaddi team coach Krishan Kumar Hooda has been recommended for the Dronacharya Award (Lifetime Category). Currently posted as an SP at the Madhuban Police Academy. K K Hooda has guided the Indian team to numerous victories on the international stage. He was the coach of the team that won gold medals at SAG and Asian Kabaddi Championships.
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.
Manpreet Singh, coach of Gujarat Fortune Giants has been nominated for the Dhyanchand Award by the committee. He is the only Kabaddi player to be nominated and would be only the second Kabaddi player to win the award. In the year 2007, Shamsher Singh was felicitated with the award by GoI.
Manpreet has won the Pro Kabaddi title while captaining Patna Pirates in the year 2016. After bidding farewell from the sport, he has been associated with Gujarat Fortune Giants has their coach. He guided the team to back to back finals in his first two terms. One of the most aggressive players and coaches, Manpreet is known for making a comeback to Kabaddi after losing 47 kg he had gained after an injury to his knee.