Savitha Goud is Essel Karnatakas best sportsperson

MUMBAI: Ms Savitha Goud, National-level Cycling Champion has won the "Essel Karnataka's Best Sportsperson" Award. The award was presented to her by the Chairman of the Essel Group and Zee Network, Mr. Subhash Chandra at a ceremony in Bangalore on February 22, 2007. The other winners are Mr. Arvind Savur (Cue Sports), Mr. Madiah (Golf), Ms. Malathi Holla (Wheelchair Athlete) and Mr. Pankaj Advani (Billiards and Snooker).

The process of selecting Karnataka's Best Sportsperson began in January. Nearly 150 nominations were received from the sportspersons and their well-wishers. A committee comprising senior journalists short-listed 15 sportspersons from among the nominations received. The list of the short-listed candidates was in-turn placed before an eminent Jury headed by Justice M. Ramakrishna, which selected five finalists.

The public was invited to choose one among the top five finalists as the "Essel Karnataka's Best Sportsperson" through SMS and tele-voting. Ms. Savitha Goud secured the highest number of votes and emerged as the winner.

At the award ceremony held on February 22, 2007, sportspersons who have rendered yeoman service were also felicitated. They included: Ms. Ashwini Nachappa (Athletics), Mr. Ahmed Khan (Football), Mr. T.R. Swamy (Wrestling), Mr. Brijesh Patel (Cricket) and Mr. Prakash Padukone (Badminton).

This is the second in the series of awards instituted by the Essel Group in Karnataka. The first award ceremony held in January was dedicated to Karnataka's Best Legislator. "Our's is a Group fired by the spirit of nationalism and patriotism. Through these awards, we hope to inspire the youth and instill in them a pride for India's rich heritage. The awards represent the group's strong resolve to empower the people and thereby build a vibrant and resurgent India" said Mr. Subhash Chandra, Chairman of the Group.

"Our effort is to identify unsung heroes and celebrate their achievements. So that it serves as an inspiration to the youth," said Mr. M. Gautham Machaiah, Vice-President, Corporate and Public Affairs, Essel Group.

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