Cash awards for India’s Olympic medallists

Achievements at the biggest sports arena in the world, need to be recognised, DGC president Rajesh Dhingra says

Gulf News

New Delhi. In a unique gesture, the Delhi Golf club on Tuesday announced cash awards of a total of Rs50 lakhs (Dh276,000) for all medal winners from the 2016 Rio Olympics & Paralympics.

According to Rajesh Dhingra, President of the DGC, the Club has not made any distinction between the able bodied athletes and those in the Paralympics, and will give the same prize to both.

The difference in amount is based on the medals. The prizes are Rs10 lakhs for gold, Rs7.5 lakhs for silver and Rs5 lakhs for bronze.

The awardees are: Devendra Jhajharia, Paralympics gold medallist in javelin gets Rs10 lakhs, Thangavelu Mariyappan, Paralympics gold medallist in high jump gets Rs10 lakhs, PV Sindhu, Olympics silver medallist in badminton gets Rs7.5 lakhs, Deepa Malik, Paralympics silver medallist in shot put gets 7.5 lakhs, Varun Bhati, Paralympics bronze medallist in high jump gets Rs5 lakhs, and Sakshi Malik, Olympics bronze medallist in wrestling gets Rs5 lakhs.

Delhi Golf Club is an exclusive golf facility but its president Rajesh Dhingra said he believes that achievements at the biggest sports arena in the world, need to be recognised and rewarded by as many corporate houses, individuals and sports bodies as possible.

Dhingra, a former Secretary of the Sports Authority of India, said: “I hope that when India’s golfers perform at the highest level then they too will get felicitated by other organisations. This will help raise the profile of sports people all over the country.”

In addition, the Delhi Golf Club has also announced a cash award of Rs5 lakhs for Pullela Gopichand’s Badminton academy in Hyderabad.

Sindhu thanked the Delhi Golf Club saying “every award is special for me and further motivates me to win for my country.”

Gopichand said: “I am pleasantly surprised to receive a contribution from a golf club and I hope to reciprocate by welcoming any of our national golfers to my academy for training if it helps them.”

Deepa Malik, the first Indian woman to win a Paralympics medal also thanked the DGC. “This is a perfect example of the Amul tag line of Para athletes being on ‘Para’ with the able bodied ones. Cash prizes of the same value for both are a welcome gesture.”

The Delhi Golf Club hopes to invite all the Rio winners to the club for a felicitation and to try their hand at golf.

The club has a rich history of supporting the game, especially caddie turned golfers like two-time Indian Open champion Ali Sher who was made an honorary member.

Asian Games gold medallist and Arjuna Awardee Shiv Kapur is another famous name from here. More recently the DGC had provided playing and coaching facilities to Shubham Jaglan who is a world junior champion.

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India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates the wicket of New Zealand's Mitchell Santner during the fifth day of the first cricket Test match between India and New Zealand at Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on September 26, 2016. AFP