New Delhi: Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur conferred the first ever Sports Authority of India's Institutional Awards to 246 athletes and coaches in New Delhi yesterday.

A total of 162 athletes and 84 coaches have been conferred awards in the Outstanding Award and Best Award category for their performance in national and international competitions with cash awards. The awards acknowledge the exceptional performance of the SAI athletes and coaches under the various sports promotion schemes at the national and international level from 2016.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Thakur emphasized the importance of Sports being an integral part of the National Education Policy. He said, when the sporting achievements of a student are announced in his or her school, it inspires other students to look beyond just academics and include sports in their life. He expressed happiness that sport has become an integral part of the National Education Policy and therefore is a part of every student's life now.

Minister of State Nisith Pramanik said, it's a momentous occasion to see the awards given out in the year of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. He said, these awards are a way of assuring our athletes and coaches that the Sports Authority of India is always there to support them.

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