Champions from Tamil Nadu Honoured in Glittering Awards Function
CHENNAI: International volleyball player M Naveen Raja Jacob and squash star Joshna Chinappa were adjudged GVSPL-TNSJA Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year at the annual GVSPL-TNSJA (Tamil Nadu Sports Journalists’ Association) awards function, here on Thursday.
In a fitting tribute, Simon Sundararaj, the last Indian to score a goal in Olympic football (Rome 1960), was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award.
“My hearty thanks to GVSPL and TNSJA for the great honour. I take this opportunity to congratulate all the other award winners and wish them all good luck,” said Sundararaj in his acceptance speech.
Among the three newly instituted awards, the GVSPL-TNSJA Lifetime Achievement Award for a Journalist went to S Thyagarajan, Associate Editor, The Hindu. P Sundaram, in-charge of the Tamil Nadu volleyball team — which won the national championship earlier this year, was named the GVSPL-TNSJA Coach of the Year.The Tamil Nadu basketball team, which also bagged the national title, was adjudged the GVSPL-TNSJA Team of the Year.
The GVSPL-TNSJA Young Achiever award went to rising stars VR Aravindh Chithambaram (chess) and Snehadevi Reddy (tennis).
Test cricketers VV Kumar, R Ashwin, S Ramesh, S Badrinath, Hemang Badani, ace athlete and Olympian Shiny Wilson and hockey Olympians Charles Cornelius, V Baskaran, Mohammed Riaz and a host of players and coaches from several disciplines graced the glittering function.
Ashwin, the brand ambassador of GVSPL, attended the event despite his busy IPL schedule. “This event is close to my heart as I have won an award here in the past. It gives me immense pleasure to get to know those who excel in other sports and see them here. I am proud to see so many sportspersons from Tamil Nadu do so well. TNSJA and GVSPL have come together and have done well. I hope it goes from strength to strength,” Ashwin said.
TS Saravanan, CEO, GVSPL, said his organisation would continue to support deserving sportspersons in Tamil Nadu. TN Raghu, president of TNSJA, delivered the welcome address and K Keerthivasan, secretary, proposed a vote of thanks. Television host Sumanth C Raman anchored the function.
The awards: Cash prize for excellence (`30,000 each): A Aravind & S Prasanna Venkatesh (basketball), P Sudhakar & A Raegan (football).
Scholarships winners (`30,000 each): P Deepika and J Hemasree (athletics), R Prag Gnanandhaa (chess), M Shahrukh Khan (cricket), S Nikhil (table tennis) and T Sathyriyan (volleyball).