Kolkata: Ali Qamar, a former Commonwealth Games Gold-winning pugilist and the man who trained Tokyo Olympics bronze winner Lovlina Borgohain, was felicitated by Hockey Bengal on the auspicious occasion of National Sports Day on Sunday.
Hailing from Khidderpore, Ali won a Gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. Speaking on the occasion, Ali said, “Bengal hockey has a rich heritage. There is no dearth of talent and if nurtured well, we will regain our status.”
The organisers also took the opportunity to give away the Hockey Bengal Award 2021 and Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award among others. Olympic Gold medallist Gurbax Singh was feted with the Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award while Bengal coach Gulzar Singh received the Olympian Yoginder Singh Award. Former national umpire Swapan Dutta got the Olympian Yaswant Singh Rajput Award. Pankaj Sharma was honoured with Umpire of the Year Award and the Promising Umpire Talent Award was given to Ayan Chatterjee.
Hockey Bengal president Swapan (Babun) Banerjee said, “Following the Covid norms we avoided a grand award ceremony. But we have plans ahead for Bengal Hockey, let things get normalised first.”
Players from Bengal’s men and women’s hockey teams and other eminent sporting personalities were present on the occasion.