Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli and business tycoon, RPS owner Sanjeev Goenka have joined hands to launch RPSG Indian sports awards to honor sportspersons for their outstanding achievements, on Friday. It is also called as the scholarship program for individuals who have undertaken exceptional initiatives to promote sports at the grass root level.
According to this initiative, the sports journalists association, sporting legends, and fans will identify one player during the course of a year from each sport who will not only be honored with the RPSG Indian sports award but also be provided with the financial support.
National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand will be heading the jury while Kohli has exempted himself from being in contention for the award ever. Meanwhile, it has also learned that 10-14 sportsperson will be honored for their brilliant show recently in their respective sports.
Virat Kohli shed some light on what success taught him in his 9-year career in International cricket. He was once known to be rash and aggressive on the field, but the talented youngster, Kohli has evolved into a mature leader and one of the most successful cricketers to be playing the game at the moment.
“Success has taught me that what is to be, will be. Had you asked me 10 years ago where I would be sitting career-wise and commercially, I would have had no clue. I am here because I was meant to be and I have worked hard on a daily basis,” the Indian skipper stated at the event.
“Working hard is the one thing I aspire to keep doing. Success has also taught me to give back and help others. Success has taught me that you can take nothing with you when you die. What you are getting has been provided by God’s grace and, so, you need to give back and help those not so fortunate. That, really, is what we’re trying to do with this initiative,” added the 28-year-old.
“India has made rapid strides as a sporting nation. The day of being a one-sport country are behind us. The time is right to introduce an institution that will recognize our top sporting achievers and put the spotlight on those, who are expected to do the country proud in years to come,” Kohli said during the launch of the award.
Apart from the high-profile jury which will comprise of top athletes of yesteryear, fans and sports journalists will also have a say in who gets the award.
“What makes this Sporting Awards unique is the direct involvement of the premier stakeholders of Indian sports, the sportspersons themselves, legends who have excelled at the highest level, the fans and the sports media. Apart from the recipients who will be shortlisted, there will be a ‘popular choice’ award as well, which will be voted directly by the fans,” said Goenka.
“Initially, the Virat Kohli Foundation (VKF) has pledged a minimum of Rs 2 crore but the amount can go up depending upon the performance of the athletes. I wouldn’t have been anything without cricket. It has made me what I am today and if I can touch people’s lives, it will be a great thing,” Kohli said.
The first award ceremony will take place on November 11 in Mumbai, which will be a black-tie, red-carpet event, with members of Indian sporting family and fans in attendance.
Virat Kohli was asked if the collaboration with Goenka would translate into something grand in the Indian Premier League, next year, with the grand overhaul action set to take place. Kohli laughed and added, “I don’t know… Mere Ko Kya Pata? Yeh to unko pata hoga!” Only if he does decide to co-own another team, Kohli and Goenka may meet as Goenka’s team, the Rising Pune Supergiant will not be seen next year.
The 28-year-old led India to a historic 9-0 tour whitewash of Sri Lanka, beating the Lions in all three formats of the game. Continuing his brilliant form with the bat, Kohli hit three centuries in the tour. In the process, he overtook Aussie legend Ricky Ponting as the second most century maker in the ODIs, with 30 tons. Sachin Tendulkar has 49 ODI centuries in the number one place.