New Delhi: Olympian SSP Chawrasia, a winner of six international titles including four on the European Tour, has been nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award.
A selection panel appointed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, had recommended SSP’s name along with 16 other sportspersons for the nation’s second highest sporting honour, about two weeks back.
Chawrasia’s nomination was finally confirmed when he received an email from the Sports Ministry on Friday night informing him about the same. The Kolkata-based professional, currently ranked second on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, will receive the award from the President of India in a ceremony to be conducted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on 29th August, 2017.
Chawrasia is now set to become the 19th Indian golfer and the 10th Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) member to be conferred with the Arjuna Award.
PGTI members who have won the Arjuna Award in the past include Ali Sher (1991), Amit Luthra (1996), Harmeet Kahlon (1997), Jeev Milkha Singh (1999), Shiv Kapur (2002), Jyoti Randhawa (2004), Arjun Atwal (2007), Gaganjeet Bhullar (2013) and Anirban Lahiri (2014).
SSP, the Indian Open champion for the last two years running, joins the illustrious list of Arjuna Awardees thanks to his extraordinary performances at the international level over the last decade.
Chawrasia, the only Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh, to have won four events on the European Tour, has also had the honour of representing India in international team events such as the Rio Olympics 2016 and the World Cup of Golf 2016. He was also part of Team Asia at the EurAsia Cup 2016.
The 39-year-old, who turned professional back in 1997, achieved a major milestone in his career when he secured his maiden overseas win in Philippines towards the end of last year.
SSP had enjoyed a career-best third place finish on the Asian Tour in 2011. He will be looking to improve upon that record in the 2017 season as he is currently placed second on the money list in Asia.
Reacting to his nomination, an elated SSP said, “I had dreamt of winning the Arjuna since childhood even before I started playing golf. My inspiration to win the award was famous Kolkata golfer Mr. SK Jamshed who won the Arjuna back in 1975. I still have a picture of his with the award at my home.
“Finally my dream has come true. The Arjuna Award is something that every Indian sportsperson craves for. It’s a true recognition of my achievements.
“This award will give me a lot of confidence for the battles ahead. I am in a happy space right now, so I am confident of doing well.”
SSP will be participating in the European Tour’s Made in Denmark event in Aalborg, Denmark, next week. He will then rush back to Delhi for the Arjuna Awards ceremony on August 29, a day when the nation also celebrates its National Sports Day.
Congratulating SSP on his Arjuna Award nomination, Mr. Uttam Singh Mundy, CEO, PGTI, said, “We at the PGTI extend our heartiest congratulations to SSP Chawrasia for being conferred the prestigious Arjuna Award. SSP’s path-breaking achievements exemplify what one can accomplish with hard work and determination. His talent and fighting spirit have helped him emerge as one of the leading professionals in Asia over the last decade. The award is a true recognition of his feats. We wish SSP the very best for the future and hope he continues to make India proud on the international stage in the years to come.”