Hyderabad: Boxing coach N Usha, who was conferred with Dhyan Chand award by President Ramnath Kovind in a virtual ceremony on Saturday, feels more responsible after receiving the honour.
“I am very happy and feel more responsible now. I want to produce more champions and fulfill my dream of representing India in Olympics and winning a medal,” said the 36-year-old boxing coach from Visakhapatnam who was in Hyderabad for the National Sports Awards function that was held virtually because of the coronavirus crisis.
Usha, who works with the Railways women boxing team and Indian elite women’s team, had a wonderful career as a player as well. Starting her career in 2001, she went on to win two silver medals in World Championships (2006 and 2008) along with a gold in Asian Championship.
She was also the undisputed national champion for six straight years from 2004 to 2009 and won a gold in National Games in 2007. She was nominated for the Arjuna award in 2010 when she was at her peak of her career. However, she missed out on the honour. “I was disappointed for not receiving the Arjuna award in 2010 after being nominated. I was at the peak of my career and was confident. But this Dhyan Chand award has filled the void,” she said with a smile.
Usha, who works with the East Coast Railway, quit as a boxer and completed NIS course in 2012-13 and joined as the coach with Indian Railways the same year. Since then, she has worked with Indian women’s team as well. On receiving the award virtually, she feels, “Receiving the award directly from the President would have been thrilling. But given the circumstances, this is the right thing to do,” added Usha who is now on a break from her role as coach with a two-month old child.
Usha and rower Manjeet Singh received the Dhyan Chand awards at the virtual function which was held at National Informatics Centre (NIC), Burghula Rama Krishna Rao Bhavan, Tank Bund which was also attended by Srilath Reddy, deputy director SAI, Telangana and a nodal officer from NIC.
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