Sportstar, a property of The Hindu Group (THG Publishing Pvt Ltd), in celebration of its 40th anniversary relaunched the Sportstar Aces Awards in 2019. The second edition of the awards will be held on January 13. The awards celebrate stars, the future stars and the tireless silent partners who have dedicated their lives to sports, to realise the dream of making India a ‘sporting nation’. Sportstar ACES aims to identify and reward the most deserving athletes irrespective of the popularity of the sport.
There are many untold stories of struggle, fierce dedication and selfless work behind each athlete’s success. Sportstar ACES strives to tell these stories, providing encouragement to our athletes and their support systems.
The awards aim to create a platform where stakeholders involved with Indian sports meet and share their vision for the growth of sport as we jointly find ways to make dreams a reality.
Medianews4u caught up with Ayon Sengupta, Editor, Sportstar to talk about the second edition of Sportstar Aces and a lot more.
How has the property Sportstar Aces evolved over the years?
Sportstar had an annual award between 1994 and 2002 but for some reasons we had to discontinue it. These early awards had only three categories – Sportsperson of the Year, Young Achiever and Lifetime Achievement Award. However, last year, on the 40th Anniversary of the magazine, we decided to reconstitute the award and the first edition was held on February 14, 2019. The new millennium has witnessed a positive change and our sportspersons have started doing well in multiple disciplines and India could no longer be called a one-sport country. To reflect this change, the Awards had to include more categories to truly celebrate the success stories in Indian sports.
How different is Sportstar Aces from any other sports awards in the country?
Ours is a Jury-driven process, where former players with immense experience take the call on the winners. We have also moved away from the usual norm of just rewarding the champion athletes and have instituted cash prizes for two promising youngsters. In our effort to encourage Corporate India, Universities and State Governments to promote sports, we are also evaluating and rewarding them.
What are the parameters on which the sports stars are judged for this honor?
The athletes are judged on the impact they have had on their sport and on the nation’s psyche in the calendar year. Merit always takes precedence over name and any athlete who has done well will always stand a chance to be recognised.
What are the various categories of awards in Sportstar Aces?
The Awards are divided in three categories – Popular Choice, Nominated Awards and Jury Awards. There is a total of 21 awards.
Which are the brands that have associated with this unique property?
Sony Ten 1 is on board as the Official Broadcast Partner. National and international conglomerates are a part of the Awards as sponsors, to name a few – MRF, Life India Corporation, Tissot, Visit Monaco, Nippon Paint, spice Jet, Odisha tourism, and Union Bank of India.
What are your expectations from Sportstar Aces? How does this help The Hindu?
Through Sportstar Aces we want to play a part in helping realise everyone’s dream of making India a sporting nation to reckon with. We want all stakeholders of Indian sports to gather, ideate and draw inspiration from each other to take the correct steps towards this ultimate dream. There has been a recent focus from the Central Government – through the Fit India movement – and also Corporate organisations and PSUs to give more importance to sport, we want to be a part of this renewed pledge and do our bit to help Indian sports and its athletes.