Star para shuttlers get Love All awards

Star para shuttlers get Love All awards
Khanna & Darshan discuss the future at Love All Awards. (Photo courtesy: Kamakshi Deshmukh)
By Vanisha Rajesh Singh

Bennett University, in collaboration with Poona Sports, Times Group and Enable India, held the “Love All” Awards Ceremony to recognize and celebrate the achievements of para badminton champions in India.

"These incredible athletes inspire us by not just surviving adversity, but excelling in its face. I want their stories to be a reminder to make the most of what we have and strive to be the best versions of ourselves," Love All's co-founder P. Krishnamurthy said.

A central element of the ceremony was a fireside chat featuring Padmashree Gaurav Khanna who is the National Coach and International Referee for Para Badminton. Khanna gave notable insights into their personal journey and the obstacles they have overcome. The Love All Awards, he said, are not only about recognising achievements but also about celebrating the athletes' relentless pursuit of excellence despite the challenges they face. "This event is not just about recognizing achievements, the awards are a salute to the persistent athletes who keep pushing for greatness, even when the odds are stacked against them," he said.


The fireside chat, moderated by Love All co-founder Darshan M, explored the development of parasports in India. Khanna shared his experiences, highlighting the significance of grassroots programmes in identifying and nurturing talent while promoting inclusivity in sports.

He acknowledged the progress made in Para sports but emphasised the need for continued advocacy to secure greater resources and support for the sustained growth of the sector. "Para sports in India has come a long way, but there's still much work to be done. If these athletes with immense challenges can accomplish so much, there's no limit to what all of you can achieve," he said.

The ceremony wasn't all speeches and awards – it also featured an exciting competition between Team A and Team B on the badminton court. Shashank Kumar and Munna Khalid of Team A showed their impressive skills throughout the match. Both teams showed excellent sportsmanship, but Team A secured the first set with a score of 21-14. However, Team B, with Abu Hubaida and Siddana Sahukar, refused to be defeated. They bounced back decisively, winning the second set 21-12. The final set was a tense affair, with each point closely fought by both teams. In the end, Team B took the first spot with a narrow win of 21-19.


Radio Mirchi’s RJ Vidit, catching the energy in the room, expressed his admiration for the athletes. "Wow," he said, "the mind-blowing passion and grit these athletes showed on the court tonight were truly inspiring. They show us what is possible with hard work. They make you believe anything is achievable."

Looking ahead, Khanna emphasised on the importance of investing in young talent and providing them with the necessary support to flourish. He talked about the significance of events like the Love All Awards in raising awareness and promoting inclusivity in sports. He urged continued support for Para athletes and the creation of opportunities for them to excel.

"These ceremonies aren't just about recognition," he said. "They're important for raising awareness and making sports available for everyone, no matter their situation. We need to keep supporting para athletes and creating opportunities for them to shine."


Another fireside chat with Manoj Sarkar, another esteemed para badminton player, provided the audience with a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs faced by these athletes. "Every obstacle is an opportunity," Sarkar said, "and it's our response to these challenges that defines our journey," he stated.

The ceremony concluded with the recognition of all athletes for their achievements in Para Badminton. Each awardee received recognition, solidifying their place as examples of perseverance and determination.

(The writer is a semester IV student of B.A. Journalism and Mass Communications programme)

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