Nepal Sports Journalists Forum, an umbrella organisation of Nepali sports journalists, organised the 18th edition of the Pulsar Sports Award on Tuesday, in the capital.
Pulsar Sports Award has remained one of the most coveted awards in the Nepali sports fraternity.
This year, the awards were distributed in nine categories. Here are the names of sports personalities who received the awards in different segments.
1. Player of the Decade (Male): Paras Khadka
Former captain of Nepal men’s cricket team Paras Khadka won the Player of the Decade title in the men’s group. With the award, Khadka received a Pulsar motorbike.
Under Khadka’s leadership, Nepal played its first ICC T20 World Cup and also gained ODI status. Overall, he is probably the most successful cricketer of Nepal so far.
2. Player of the Decade (Female): Sabitra Bhandari
Footballer Sabitra Bhandari, popularly known as Samba, was announced the Player of the Decade in the women’s group. Like Khadka, she also received a Pulsar motorbike.
Alongside the award, Bhandari received a Pulsar motorbike. Earlier, Bhandari has won the award of ‘Best Player’ in the same sports award. In 40 matches that she played for the national side, she has scored 38 goals.
3. Nepal men’s football team: Team of the Year
Nepal men’s football team won the award of Team of the Year. The Nepali men’s football team won the Three Nations Cup 2021, to win a trophy at home for the first time in 37 years. three-nation cup organised in 2077 at Dashrath Rangasala.
“This award is evidence that hard work pays off,” said Karma Tshering Sherpa, the president of All Nepal Football Association, during his winning speech.
4. Para-Athlete Honour: Sarita Thulung
Para-swimmer Sarita Thulung won the Para-Athlete Honour. The 38-year-old Thulung of Sunsari is not only associated with swimming, but she also plays para-football, powerlifting and wheelchair basketball.
Despite losing her leg due to polio at the age of 3, Thulung has been involved in para-sports for the last 10 years.
Thulung has participated in the World Championship Series in Singapore and the World Para-Swimming Championship in the UK.
5. Coach of the Decade: Jagat Tamata
Former cricket coach of Nepal men’s cricket team, Jagat Tamata, won the award of the Coach of the Decade title. Under the leadership of Tamata, Nepal received the ODI status for the first time in 2018.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without my team, I want to dedicate this award to my team,” said Tamata in his winning speech.
6. Special Awards: Pushpa Bhandari and Ajay Rana
Nepal’s first female international gold medalist of the marathon, Pushpa Bhandari, and medical doctor, Ajay Rana, received special awards.
“I want to thank my parents for all the support and motivation. Similarly, I am also thankful to my APF Club,” said Bhandari.
Likewise, Dr Ajay Rana is the first doctor to get an appointment from the National Sports Council. He was also a national hockey and ‘A’ Division football player. After coming back to Nepal from India to study sports medicine, he served as a sports doctor for 32 years. After his retirement, the Nepal government has not appointed anybody permanently as a sports doctor.
7. People’s Choice Award: Elina Maharjan
Table tennis player Elina Maharjan won the People’s Choice Award. With the highest vote of 47.833, she bagged the most coveted title.
In her winning speech, Maharjan expressed gratitude to the NSJF, her family and all others for making her win the title. Alongside Maharjan, National women’s football team goalkeeper Anjila Tumbapo Subba, badminton player Prince Dahal and athletics’ Santoshi Shrestha were nominated for the award.
The winner was decided on the basis of eSewa votes, Facebook likes on the official page of the Sports Award and points allocated by head coaches of 27 sports associations affiliated with the Nepal Olympic Committee and members of the Nepal Sports Journalists Forum. The eSewa votes had 50 per cent of weightage, Facebook likes 25 per cent and the points allocated by coaches and NSJF members had 12.5 per cent weightage each.
8. Lifetime Achievement Award: Sharad Chandra Shah
Late Sharad Chandra Shah, a former member-secretary of the National Sports Council, was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. His tenure at the council is considered the Golden Age of Nepali Sports. Shah is the first person to introduce the South Asian Games. Similarly, he was credited for developing the status of various modern games in Nepal.
Shah’s daughter Mihika received the posthumous award given to her father.
“I want to dedicate this award to Nepali sports family; this is what my father would have wanted,” she said.
9. Asian Sports Journalist Award: Sattam Al Sehali
Sattaam Al Sehali of Kuwait won the Asian Sports Journalist Award. Sehali is also an AIPS Asia President. He has also worked as the head of the Olympic Media Committee, in Kuwait.