Gurung duo wins Sports Awards

Pokhara, May 14

Footballer Heman Gurung won the Player of the Year award at the first Sports Award organised by Kaski Coordination Committee of Nepal Sports Journalists Forum here today.

Gurung, member of the 12th South Asian Games gold medal winning team, defeated bodybuilder Suresh Gurung and Asim Shrestha of Archery in the male category.

Spiker Manju Gurung won the female section award ahead of fellow volleyball player Aruna Shahi and wushuka Jharna Gurung. All three players participated in the 12th SA Games. The male and female winners received Rs 25,000 and Samsung mobile each.

Football coach Krishna Thapa was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his four-decade long contribution on Nepali football. Thapa, who hails from Hyamja, was the member of various age-group teams and national squad during his playing career. Thapa played his last match for the national team in 1988 SAF Games in Calcutta. He then started serving football as a coach and led age-group and national squads on various occasions. He also worked as Technical Director at All Nepal Football Association.

Thapa, who also served the National Sports Council as first-class officer before retiring two years ago, was emotional to get the honour in his home town. “I have won so many honours but this one is special for me,” said Thapa. “This is the highest honour in my lifetime.”

Karate coach Surendra Gurung was declared the best coach of the year. Other nominees in the category were Shambhu KC (football) and Kaushila Khatri (volleyball). Athlete and spiker Shashi Chaudhary won the youth category award.

The nominees and winners were selected by a committee led by Ram Krishna Gyawali, former president of NSJF Kaski. Member Secretary of National Sports Council Keshab Kumar Bista, 12th South Asian Games gold medallist Nima Gharti Magar, and President of Sahara Club Bir Bhadra Acharya among others handed over the awards to the winners. Bista announced financial assistance of Rs 100,000 to NSJF Kaski every year for the programme.

The three-hour long programme at the City Hall also included various musical and cultural  performances by local artists and groups apart from demonstration from karate players. Acting president of NSJF Kaski handed over memento to sponsors and supporters of the event.