Of Awards, Missions and ‘My People’

Jess Owens oncesaid, “Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.”
And Owens wasarguably one of the most influential athletes of all time, winning 4 gold inBerlin Olympics in 1936, when Hitler staged the game to showcase the Aryansupremacy.
Despite what Owenssaid, awards do, and would continue to, mean a lot to the athletes. These arethe reasons why they play for, when the game they play is not enough to buythem sustenance. Probably that’s why Pulsar Sports Awards gets a lot ofpublicity. So much that players go ahead players or their fans go ahead gettingpamphlets printed and paste it around the walls. So much, fan groups rallyaround requesting for SMS votes. The national football team went to the easternregion, to play friendly matches against Sunsari, Morang and Jhapa – with thepermission from ANFA – to gather support for its captain, who happens to be oneof the nominees for Popular Player of the Year.
At the risk ofirritating a lot of sports journos, yours truly would also like to argue thatthe awards have become popular also because it is organized by Nepal SportsJournalist Forum. Most sports journos are affiliated with the forum, and thenews gets month long (or more coverage in popular newsprint), making it widelyread, and thus popular. One question could be asked here: Would it get as muchcoverage, if some other organization covered it?
If the answer isyes, there is nothing wrong with it. But if the answer is no, rethinking is needed. Are we overdoing it?

Thank you Mr. President!

Sportspeople must be a happy lot this week. For once, they were an agenda at the President’s table. Even if it was for one day, they were made the VIPs at the Presidential Palace.
Awards are what the sportsmen live for, more so, in a country like ours. When the livelihood through sports is not forthcoming, the awards, medals and the cups help them to get over the difficult days.
And when President Ram Baran Yadav met them and patted their backs for receiving the Pulsar Sports Award 2066, their heart must have taken one more leap. The first ever President of the country told them that he was ‘touched’ by the players´ feat of waving the national flag at the international level.
For that, Thank you Mr. President. For you have ‘touched’ many hearts, of the thousands who want to fill up every arena, just with the thoughts that their heroes are taking to the field. The recognition of their heroes means a lot to them.