I played badminton without lure of return, money or reward: Prakash Padukone | Hindustan Times
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I played badminton without lure of return, money or reward: Prakash Padukone

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) conferred its inaugural Lifetime Achievement award to former world No 1 and legend Prakash Padukone in the presence of his family, including daughter and actress Deepika Padukone several top badminton players from India and abroad, who are in town to take part in the $350,000 India Open.

other sports Updated: Jan 29, 2018 23:32 IST
Sandip Sikdar
Prakash Padukone with daughter Deepika Padukone (rnd right), PV Sindhu (right) and family at the function organised by Badminton Associated of India (BAI) to award him its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in New Delhi on Monday.
Prakash Padukone with daughter Deepika Padukone (rnd right), PV Sindhu (right) and family at the function organised by Badminton Associated of India (BAI) to award him its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in New Delhi on Monday.(HT Photo)

In a glitzy evening which had a diverse audience from the vice-president of India, M Venkaiah Naidu, to sports stars like PV Sindhu and Carolina Marin, India’s original king of badminton, Prakash Padukone, was rewarded for his services with the Lifetime Achievement Award here on Monday.

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) conferred the inaugural award to the 62-year-old in the presence of his family, including daughter and actress Deepika Padukone, several top badminton players from India and abroad, who have descended upon the capital to take part in the $350,000 India Open.

Padukone is a former world No.1 who had much success in the sport, especially without the facilities and sponsorship that players receive today, to win several major tournaments. His two most famous achievements are winning the bronze medal at the 1983 World Championships, and clinching the 1980 All England Open – the first Indian to do so on both occasions.

He also got involved in administration of the sport for a short while and started the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bangalore – India’s first professionally run academy in the sport.

The hall in a luxury hotel here where the event was being held, rose to acknowledge the laurels of the former maestro.

“I played at a time when there weren’t many facilities. I played without the lure of returns, money, rewards or to even please my parents. I played for my own satisfaction and to see how much I can challenge myself,” Padukone told the gathering.

The former shuttler acknowledged the development of the sport in the country which has led to stars like PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal bringing many laurels to the country. But at the same time he reminded the BAI that this is not the time to rest on the achievements as there is always scope for improvement and much that can be done to take badminton each and every part of India.

He stressed that more talent needs to be tapped especially in small towns and cities. “Talent must be given support otherwise it will die,” he said.

Padukone graciously concluded the event by saying that he was accepting the award on behalf of all fellow players of his generation.