The National Sports Awards are given to those who have excelled in their respective sporting fields as a recognition of their outstanding achievements.

The awards, generally handed out on National Sports Day on August 29, are presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India every year.

Sadanand Shetye was the first recipient of the National Sports Award. He was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 1972.

Since then, several other kabaddi players and coaches have gone on the honours list. These include notable Pro Kabaddi stars like Anup Kumar, Ajay Thakur and Deepak Hooda.

In kabaddi, 43 individuals have been honoured with a National Sports Award. Here’s a comprehensive list of kabaddi players and coaches who have been on the honour roll.


Arjuna Award winners in kabaddi

The Arjuna Award is given to recognise outstanding achievements in sports. A total of 36 kabaddi players, including both men and women, have received the Arjuna Award. Sadanand Shetye was the first kabaddi player to be honoured with the Arjuna Award in 1972. The all-rounder from Maharashtra won 12 Senior National Championship titles with Indian Railways. Shakuntala Khatavkar, meanwhile, was the first women's kabaddi player to be conferred with the Arjuna Award in 1978.

Prominent names like Ajay Thakur, Rakesh Kumar, Anup Kumar, Manjeet Chhillar, Jasvir Singh and Deepak Niwas Hooda -- who have played in PKL -- have also won the prestigious award.

1972 - Sadanand Shetye

1973 - Bholanath Guin

1978 - Shakuntala Khatavkar

1980 - Shantaram Jadhav

1981 - Monika Nath

1983 - Maya Kashinath

1986 - Rama Sarkar

1990 - Hardeep Singh

1994 - S. Rajrathnam

1994 - Ashok Shinde

1995 - P. Ganeshan

1996 - Shriram Bhavsar

1996 - Neeta Moreshwer Dadwe

1997 - Randhir Singh

1998 - Ashan Kumar

1998 - Biswajit Palit

1999 - Balwinder Singh (Fidda)

1999 - Tirath Raj

2000 - C Honnappa Gowda

2001 - BC Ramesh

2002 - Ram Meher Singh

2003 - Sanjeev Kumar

2004 - Sunder Singh

2005 - Ramesh Kumar

2006 - Navneet Gautam

2009 - Pankaj Shirsat

2010 - Dinesh Kumar

2011 - Rakesh Kumar

2011 - V Tejaswini Bai

2012 - Anup Kumar

2014 - Mamatha Poojari

2015 - Manjeet Chhillar

2015 - Abhilasha Mhatre

2017 - Jasvir Singh

2019 - Ajay Thakur

2020 - Deepak Niwas Hooda


Dronacharya Award winners in kabaddi

The Dronacharya Award is given to coaches to recognise their efforts in driving a sport or an athlete to the top. The chief coach of the Indian national kabaddi team that won gold at the 1990 Asian Games, E. Prasad Rao, was the first-ever recipient of the Dronacharya Award back in 2002. Former Jaipur Pink Panthers coach Balwan Singh and Haryana Steelers coach for Season 5 Rambir Singh Khokhar have also been recognised for their excellence in the field of coaching. Dabang Delhi K.C. head coach Kishan Kumar Hooda was conferred the Dronacharya Award in 2020.

2002 - E. Prasad Rao

2005 - Balwan Singh

2012 - Dr Sunil Dabas

2019 - Rambir Singh Khokhar

2020 - Kishan Kumar Hooda


Dhyan Chand Award winners in kabaddi

Gujarat Giants head coach Manpreet Singh and veteran Indian national kabaddi player Shamsher Singh are the only two kabaddi players to win the Dhyan Chand award, a lifetime achievement sporting honour.

Manpreet Singh is a two-time Kabaddi World Cup winner who was also declared Man of the Match in the final of the 2007 Kabaddi World Cup. He has won 12 international gold medals, including two at the Asian Games. He has also guided the Gujarat Giants to two consecutive Pro Kabaddi finals in seasons 5 and 6. Shamsher Singh, meanwhile, was part of the coaching management for Dabang Delhi K.C. when they qualified for the final in Season 7.

2007 - Shamsher Singh

2020 - Manpreet Singh