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Badminton Association of India have today announced to bestow annual Lifetime Achievement Awards to the greats of the game who have made rich contributions to the cause of the sport in the country; with Prakash Padukone named as the first recipient of this maiden initiative.
The legendary player who is the only Indian male player to reach World No.1 ranking will be awarded with a cash award of INR 10 Lakhs and a citation.
The announcement was made by the president of BAI President Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on the sidelines of the Manorama BWF World Senior Championships here.
“This is for the first time that BAI has come up with such Award as it is time we recognize the immense contribution of these stalwarts towards the growth of badminton in the country. And no other name would have been apt but Prakash Padukone, to confer the first award. A grand ceremony will be organized in Delhi soon to felicitate Mr.Padukone,” Dr. Sarma said.
It was also announced that there will be significant rise in the prize money of the Senior National Championships and close to one crore will be doled out to the players from this year’s Senior Nationals.
“We will be increasing the prize money close to 1 crore from this year and the players will be getting prize money from the pre-quarters stage.” Dr. Sarma announced.
He also confirmed participation of top players including players like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth after who will be taking part in the upcoming national championships in Nagpur from November 1st -7th. The players have been consulted and assured of international standard playing conditions, which was a key concern from the players.
“We want to transform national championship into a brand. We already have a brand in PBL and we want our premier domestic tournament also to become a huge hit amongst the fans. It has been a long time that the fans have seen high-profile clashes in the national circuit and we hope to transform the National Championship from this year,” BAI president said.
“Every year we want to throw in new champions on the circuit and the academy and the scholarship and dedicated training will help us in that endeavour. The new academies will be solely owned by BAI and we are already in advanced talks with different states to identify the right partners,” he further added.