Gaurav Gill, the ace Indian rally car driver has finally won the prestigious Arjuna Award, the highest civilian honour for Sports in India. Gaurav Gill has become the first Indian to have won this award in the field of motorsport. He was presented with the award at the National Sports and Adventure Award 2019 ceremony by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind. Gill has had a stupendous career in motor racing. He has won the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) three times and the Indian National Rally Championship six times. Not only this, but he has also participated in the World Rally Championship 2 (WRC2) last year, representing India in four rounds. Furthermore, he has been a regular winner at the Dakshin Dare rally.
Gaurav Gill winning the Arjuna award is a stupendous moment for motorsports in India. Ignored by the government over the years, it was only in 2015 that the Sports Ministry of India recognised motor racing as a sport. And only then was the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) was included in the National Sports Federations. Since then, FMSCI has been pitching Gaurav’s name for the nomination of the award. Gaurav Gill was nominated for the Arjuna award last month after his name being passed on on three different previous occasions.
This year’s nomination for the Arjuna Award had 19 athletes including Gaurav Gill. In order to be eligible for it, an athlete must have had excellent performance in his/her sport consistently for four years at the international level in addition to showing good results in the year for which the award is being presented. Motorsport, which has always been on the sidelines in India, is sure to receive the required recognition with this. Youngsters, who want to pursue a career in motorsports will now feel motivated. However, there still exists a need for people to be educated about this sport and its workings.
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