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SJAM celebrates World Sports Journalists Day with star sportspersons

Gordon D’Costa
Dilip Vengsarkar receiving the SJAM Lifetime Achievement Award from Adille Sumariwalla, Abey Kuruvilla and Clayton Murzello.
Dilip Vengsarkar receiving the SJAM Lifetime Achievement Award from Adille Sumariwalla, Abey Kuruvilla and Clayton Murzello.

MUMBAI — The Bombay Gymkhana had never seen anything like this before; such was the excitement amongst its staff as Mumbai’s top-notch sportspersons of the past took part in the Sports Journalists Association of Mumbai-organised World Sports Journalists Day on July 2. The Gymkhana supported the event.

Around  30  award winners of different kinds – the State’s Shiva Chhatrapati Award and the Central government’s Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award and Padma Shri — joined Mumbai’s sports journalists fraternity to celebrate an occasion that triggers worldwide interest.

The SJAM felicitated seven outstanding sportspersons: Dilip Vengsarkar and Milind Rege (Cricket), Kishen Narsi (Boxing), Souter Vaz (Football), Maya Meher (Kabaddi), Raghunandan Gokhale (Chess) and Arun Kedar (Carrom) with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. The award comprised a citation, a caricature drawn by Austin Coutinho and a memento. Distinguished sports people presented the Lifetime Award. 

The SJAM also organised a discussion on India’s potential to win medals at the Summer Olympics in Paris. 

Boxing great Kishen Narsi receiving the SJAM Lifetime Achievement Award from Bombay Gymkhana President, Sanjiv Saran and hockey start Viren Rasquinha.
Boxing great Kishen Narsi receiving the SJAM Lifetime Achievement Award from Bombay Gymkhana President, Sanjiv Saran and hockey start Viren Rasquinha.

World Athletics vice president Adille Sumariwalla, Hockey Olympian Viren Rasquinha, Badminton stalwart Leroy D’Sa, air rifle shooting coach Suma Shirur and tennis Davis Cupper Purav Raja shared their thoughts with a hall packed with people. 

Vengsarkar recalled his playing days at the Gymkhana that played host to India’s first cricket Test match in India in 1933 and shared an anecdote of an incident relating to the Nawab of Pataudi. 

Sumariwalla said Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra is a cool cat not weighed down by expectations and that being consistent has been his hallmark. 

The SJAM presented a couple of mementoes to the Gymkhana President Sanjiv Saran Mehra. The Gymkhana will celebrate its sesquicentennial anniversary next year.

SJAM panel discussion around the Paris Olympics. (From left): Prasanna Sant, Leroy D'Sa, Purav Raja, Suma Shirur, Adille Sumariwalla and Viren Rasquinha
SJAM panel discussion around the Paris Olympics. (From left): Prasanna Sant, Leroy D'Sa, Purav Raja, Suma Shirur, Adille Sumariwalla and Viren Rasquinha

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