Having been overlooked by the selection committee, two-time Commonwealth Games boxing medallist Manoj Kumar has shot a letter to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju requesting to consider the name of hos brother-cum-personal coach Rajesh Kumar Rajound for the Dronacharya Award. Also Read - Rani, Manika And Thangavelu Bestowed With Khel Ratna in a Virtual National Awards Ceremony
The 33-year-old Haryana boxer has on several occasions credited his brother for shaping his career. Also Read - A Day Before Receiving Dronacharya Award, Athletics Coach Purshottam Rai Dies
“…hoping for a positive response…request you to once see into the matter of Dronacharya Award names announced for the year. I request you to consider the achievement of my coach Rajesh Kumar and help him in getting his achievements recognised as you are our last hope in this matter,” Manoj wrote in the letter. Also Read - National Sports Awards: COVID Positive Vinesh Phogat Among 14 Absentees
A 12-member selection panel has recommended 13 names for the annual honour for coaches.
“If now once again hard work of a coach and his disciple is ignored and not rewarded despite the whole country knowing the struggle of them, then how come new talent will be motivated to give all his life to country,” he added.
Rajesh’s nomination has also found the backing of former national boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu.
Manoj, who is also a two-time Asian bronze medallist, had to knock on the court’s door for Arjuna Award with which he has honoured with in 2014.
“When there can be more than one award in hockey then why can’t it be in boxing also. Hoping for a quick and positive response from your side,” he said referring to Jude Felix (regular) and Romesh Pathania (lifetime) being recommended among hockey coaches for the honour.
Earlier this week, an unprecedented five Khel Ratna and 29 Arjuna award recommendations were made by the selection panel drawing surprises from the likes of two-time world shooting champion Heena Sidhu.
The winners will be confirmed on the National Sports Day – August 29.
With PTI inputs