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Three hockey souls in line for national award (8/17/2019)
--K. Arumugam
A present day star, a former legend and a hockey coach who tails even today for upliftment of hockey at grassroot are in line for national award to be presented by the President of India on August 29th, the birth anniversary of Dhyan Chand, which is being celebrated as National Sports Day in India since the early 90s.

Chinglensana Singh, till recently Vice-caption of Indian men's national team has been recommended for Arjuna Award, while Manuel Fredericks, the famous goalkeeper of 70s for Dhyan Chand Lifetime Award while street coach Marzban Patel, popularly known as 'Bawa Saab' is named under Life Time Coaching Achievement for Dronacharya.

These awards carry a Statuette, citation, and a goody purse. These awards also confer many other lifetime benefits on the recipients like lifetime upperclass free railway travel etc.

MANUEL FREDERICS: He is the only Olympic medallist in his state Kerala whence present goalie PR Sreejesh hails from. Born on October 20, 1947 at Burnasserry in Kannur, Manuel Fredericks was a part of Indian men’s hockey team for seven years. He made his international debut in 191 and last played in the Buenos Aires World Cup in 1978. He is presently settled in Bangaluru (Karnataka).

MARZBAN PATEL 'BAWA'. Bawa is a selfless hockey promoter. He looks for talent among slum dwellers, drops outs from schools, and among kids from poor sections of society, in addition to schools and colleges. He continuously introduce the game to such kids and stand by them throughout till they get a career out of hockey. Brothers Devinder Walmiki and Yuvraj Walmiks are his recent finds who shine in the hockey circuit.


Writes Viren Rasquinha in his facebook post on his formative days coach Bawa: "….Bawa has produced 5 hockey Olympians - Gavin Ferreira (Atlanta 1996), Jude Menezes (Sydney 2000), Viren Rasquinha and Adrian Dsouza (Athens 2004) & Devinder Walmiki (Rio 2016). Besides, many hockey players, who have represented India and Mumbai, got jobs through hockey and made something of their lives. Bawa eats, sleeps and breathes hockey. Today is Parsi New Year and he celebrates as usual - by being on the hockey field - when the award was announced. He has sold off his personal possessions to give young poor talented kids the chance to play hockey. Every young kid from Mumbai who has gone on to play for Mumbai or India have passed through Bawa’s able hands".

"I owe my entire hockey career to Bawa. He recognised a spark in me when I was 13, he gave me a chance for Republicans in my 1st All India tournament at 14, he kicked my butt to work really hard and he made me believe in myself. Thank you Bawa. Coaches like you just don’t exist anymore. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than you".

CHINGLEN SANA SINGH: Hailing from Manipur, the energy pack of Indian team is a current star though out of the national team of late. He has figured in all major Indian victories, and was elevated to deputy leader of the teams many times. He is gold medallists of variety of events like the Asian Champions Trophy, the Asia Cup.

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