Lovlina Borgohain and her coach Sandhya Gurung
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Gangtok: Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain is currently in Sikkim to meet her coach Sandhya Gurung, who was on Tuesday shortlisted for Dronacharya Award.

This is the first occasion when a coach from Sikkim is receiving the Dronacharya Award. For pugilist Lovlina, who was on her way to Sikkim to share her gratitude on being shortlisted for the Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, the happiness was doubled when her coach was shortlisted for the award herself.

The coach-player duo on Tuesday met Sikkim Governor Ganga Prasad, while the next day they met Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay. Upon receiving information of both the coach and the pugilist being short-listed for the national awards, the Sikkim CM announced Rs 10 lakh support for the Bronze medallist and Rs 5 lakh for Sikkim’s first Dronacharya Awardee.

The coach-player duo was accorded a warm welcome earlier in the day by Sikkim Sports Department and Sikkim Olympic Association, with young pugilists and other sporting disciples in attendance at the White Hall.

In her interaction with the players in attendance, Lovlina shared, “You all should feel blessed to have a coach as good as Sandhya who has now grown in stature with the Dronacharya Award being conferred upon her. She always was strict on discipline and along with her call for determination and dedication, as she refers as 3Ds, her Guru Mantra to me, I am sure all of you can go on to play Nationals and International tournaments in the future.”

“Fitness is the other key in sports which she always tried to inculcate in me. But seeing Sikkim’s terrain and altitude, I don’t think that players and sports enthusiasts here need much to do about fitness, as the workout here happens with the steep climb in the mountains naturally,” she said.

Speaking about her coach getting conferred with the Dronacharya Award, Lovlina shared with EastMojo, “I wanted to meet Sandhya Ma’am. Her Dronacharya Award has also been confirmed this year. I am happier for her than I am for myself. This is a very special moment for me that both of us are receiving awards at the same time.”

Coach Sandhya Gurung, in her address to the media, said, “Guru Dronacharya Award or the award given to a mentor, it is said there is nothing higher than the acknowledgement. There is no comparison to the happiness I feel for the respect. my student (Lovlina), she told in front of everyone present here how she feels about me. Today I feel proud of myself that I have done a good work. Choosing the field and to be a success in teaching, I am immensely grateful to all those that have supported me. Be it the government or the public or the players, elders and youngsters.”

Gurung added, “From being a player to reaching here today… when I was a player, my family supported me; my husband has been my constant support. Now when people in Sikkim are showering their respect upon me, I feel I really have become a Guru.”

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