Mumbai`s Himani Parab will become the first recipient of the Arjuna Award for mallakhamb on November 13.
Parab, 20, who won four golds and two bronze medals at the first Mallakhamb World Championship held in Mumbai three years ago, can’t wait to be at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi to receive her award.
“I was disappointed over not being nominated for the award last year.
But now I am excited to receive the first Arjuna Award in the sport. During my early days, my goal was to get the Shiv Chhatrapati Award, but now promising players will aim to perform well at the highest level and get the Arjuna too,” Parab told mid-day.com.
Parab, who started learning mallakhamb at the age of five at Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir (SSVM), Dadar, is also guiding budding players. “I want to help players win medals at the national and international level. I would like my students to excel and win such awards while competing with me,” Parab remarked.
Uday Deshpande, 68, SSVM secretary and chief coach recalled Parab’s fighting spirit. “Himani was not an outstanding or extraordinary player in the early days, but right from the beginning she was determined to do everything. She was always eager to learn the finer points of mallakhamb till she got perfect,” said Deshpande, who was the first Shiv Chhatrapati Lifetime Achievement awardee in the sport.
“Parents always wonder about the future in this sport. But now, with Himani’s achievement they will realise that mallakhamb also can earn their child due recognition as well as a good job,” added Deshpande.
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