New Delhi: Two-time Commonwealth Games medal-winning boxer Manoj Kumar on Wednesday wrote to the Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and requested him to regard his brother and personal coach Rajesh Kumar Rajound for the Dronacharya award as he was disregarded by the selection committee.
The 12-member panel proposed 13 names for the annual honor for trainers or coaches, which are to be awarded along with the other medalists on August 29 on the auspicious occasion of National Sports Day.
Rajound’s selection was supported by former national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu. “…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 recognized as you are our last hope in this matter,” Manoj penned.
“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 the country,” he further explained. The Haryana-boxer, who went till court for the Arjuna award that he earned in 2014, was a two-time Asian bronze-medallist and a gold-winner at the 2016 South Asian Games.
The 33-year-old had credited his brother for shaping his career on several occasions whenever he got a chance to praise him. “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 explained referring to Jude Felix (regular) and Romesh Pathania (lifetime) were also proposed among hockey coaches for this honor.