Santhi Soundarajan, coach and former track and field athlete who won 12 medals for India, before she was stripped of her Asian Games Silver following a hormone test for gender, was conferred the inaugural Unsung GameChanger Award at the Medianews4u GameChangers 2022 awards ceremony in Chennai on 31st May 2023.
Ten years after being disqualified from competing, Soundarajan was appointed as coach at the Tamil Nadu Sports Development Authority. She continues to face discrimination, acknowledges Sundarajan, but is committed to seeing her students run for India.
The fifth edition of the annual event recognising path breaking contributions in the space of advertising, media and marketing awarded winners in 13 categories.
Soundarajan’s citation reads as follows.
The inaugural Unsung GameChanger 2022 Award is conferred on Santhi Soundarajan
- For being a champion who has led the fight in an inter-phobic world, helping make society inclusive for all humankind.
- For rising strongly from the fall and being an inspiration for people of every gender and race.
- For staying in the race.
- For enduring discrimination and keeping her Olympic medal dreams alive, through the athletes she trains today.
Receiving the award, Soundarajan said, “I feel energised by this award. The reason is, for the last six months, I have been facing a very difficult time. I believe that this award will be a catalyst that helps me rise again. I dedicate this award to my students.”