Veteran Indian kabaddi stalwart Achintya Kumar Saha or more popularly known as A.K. Saha has been picked for the Lifetime Achievement award in the polling done by the World Kabaddi.
The poll was conducted among all members of the World Kabaddi in conjunction with the World Kabaddi Day on March 24.
Saha played an instrumental part in the inclusion of kabaddi at the Asian Games as well as introducing the game to countries outside South Asia.
The 81-year-old, who hails from Calcutta has been involved in kabaddi since 1958 and was elected as the treasurer of the governing body for kabaddi in India in 1972.
In 1978 he was elected as the first secretary of the Asian kabaddi body. He led a four-strong delegate to Bangkok the same year to lobby the inclusion of kabaddi into the Asian Games.
It was through his efforts that the first Asian Championships was held in West Bengal in 1980. Saha was in the thick of matters in pushing for kabaddi inclusion at the Asiad over the next decade.
In early 1990, at his invitation, a delegation from China headed by Prof. Sun-Min-Zhi Director of XI Asian Games competition visited India to attend an international kabaddi tournament.
Following the visit China agreed to include kabaddi as a demonstration sports at the Beijing Asian Games in September the same year.
Two years later he attended the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) general assembly, to appeal for the inclusion of kabaddi as a medal sports at the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games.
In June 1992, kabaddi was finally accepted as a medal sport at the Asian Games.
Saha continued to serve at the international level before handing over the helms to a new generation of administrators.
World Kabaddi secretary general S.T. Arasu of Malaysia was picked as the Best International Administrator in the same poll.
Arasu, who is also the Malaysia Kabaddi Federation (MKF) deputy president, had also served as the secretary of the Asian body from 2002 to 2004. He was elected unanimously as the World Kabaddi secretary at its general body meeting in Bangalore in 2018.
It was double honour for Malaysia as the MKF was also picked as the Best National Federation.
The MKF hosted the inaugural World Cup Kabaddi in Melaka last year. Arasu was also the organising chairman of the World Cup.
MKF also hosted the International Level One Technical Course last year apart from conducting various tournaments, courses and clinics for its own members.
The polling was also used to select outstanding contribution at national level in each country.
All those selected will receive special certificates from the World Kabaddi to be presented by the respective national bodies to their winners later this year.
Parminder Mohan Sharma of Canada was picked for the President’s Merit Award for his role in developing the sport in Europe and now in Canada.
World Kabaddi president Ashok Das congratulated all winners.
“We started this polling because of the current Covid-19 pandemic that had forced us to cancel all our activities. It was a good start and we hope to do this in a much bigger way in the coming years,” said Ashok.
THE FULL LIST
Lifetime Achievement: A.K. Saha (India)
National Federation: Malaysia Kabaddi Federation
International Administrator: S.T. Arasu (Malaysia)
President’s Merit: Parminder Mohan Sharma (Canada)
Administrator: Jagjit Singh Gurm
Male Player: Ivraj Singh
Coach: Parminder Sharma
Technical Official: Lal Ramandeep
Volunteer: Jagdeep Bargota
Administrator: Parminder Sharma
Local Organisation: Taiwan Abeca Club
Male Player: Huang Jih Hung
Female Player: Ren Ming Qin
Coach: Wang Tzu Jen
Technical Official: Wu Kao Hui
Volunteer: Abeca Taiwan
Administrator: Wang Tzu Jen
Local Organisation: El Sahel Kabaddi
Male Player: Mahmoud Taha Hasanen
Female Player: Habiba Tarek Fathi
Coach: Mohamed Taha Hassanen
Technical Official: Osama Said Hashem
Volunteer: Nadia Anter Yassen
Administrator: Emad Said Ebrahem
Local Organisation: SSLE Barking
Male Player: Inder Singh Bassi
Female Player: Emma Jones
Coach: Moinul Islam
Technical Official: Gurjit Singh Shokar
Volunteer: Sukbir Singh Bassi
Administrator: Kawal Das
Local Organisation: Maharaja Ranjit Singh Kabaddi Club
Administrator: Balkarn SIngh
Local Organisation: Hong Kong Kabaddi Sport Union
Male Player: Wong Wai Chuen
Female Player: Leung Chui Ping
Coach: Ho Yan Yee
Technical Official: Tang Wai Man
Volunteer: Lo Yuk Kwong
Administrator: Tang Wai Man
Local Organisation: International Indian Premier Kabaddi League
Male Player: M Arumugam
Female Player: Suman
Coach: Dr Ishwar Angadi
Technical Official: Amrik Singh
Administrator: M.V. Prasad Babu
Local Organisation: Aisen Kabaddi Club
Male Player: Ali Sari Sabr
Female Player: Ilham Abdul Hussein
Coach: Alaa Hussein Irzaij
Technical Official: Basim Raisan Alghali
Administrator: Hameed Neamah Khshoom
Local Organisation: Bergamo Kabaddi
Male Player: Sandeep SIngh
Female Player: Shanti Devi
Coach: Kamal Kumar
Technical Official: Sukhmander Singh
Volunteer: Aman Singh Brar
Administrator: Jasvir Singh Banwait
Local Organisation: Tak Kabaddi
Male Player: Reuben Mburu
Female Player: Grace Nyambura
Coach: Amos Kagiri
Technical Official: Perpetual Mbutu
Volunteer: Kantilal Asani
Administrator: Mathew Mwangi
Local Organisation: Kabaddi Association of Kuala Lumpur
Male Player: Jegan Kumar Balaraman
Female Player: Balajothi Gunasekaran
Coach: R. Balamurugan
Technical Official: M Rajasegaran
Volunteer: Vipularajah Navaratnam
Administrator: R. Sivanesan
Administrator: Triana Alonso
Administrator: Shiva Shainju
Male Player: Kaisan Pleizier
Coach: Dalbir Singh
Technical Official: Henny Pleizier
Administrator: Sukhvinder Singh Dhesi
Administrator: Tara Singh Bains
Male Player: Mandeep Singh
Coach: Joaquim Rasi
Volunteer: Harpal Singh Khatra
Administrator: Kanwaldeep Singh Kamboj
Administrator: Arbab Nasser
Administrator: Abishek Sharma
Male Player: Sukjinder Dhillon
Female Player: Heather Spurling McGowan
Coach: Prem Singh Bart
Technical Official: Jon Gill
Volunteer: Jaswrinder Singh Rehncy
Administrator: Jon Gill
Local Organisation: Buffalo Kabaddi Sports Club
Male Player: Joseph Isaya Miotwa Lusinde
Female Player: Nasra Said Omary Mkima
Coach: Abhay Raj Singh
Technical Official: Arun Dagar
Volunteer: Adash Sharma
Administrator: Abdallah Mustafa Atumani
Technical Official: Pond Sookwattana