After the successful campaign at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, ONGC has now set its sight on the Jakarta Asian Games, 2018 and the Tokyo Olympics 2020. ONGC sportspersons bagged 13 medals including 5 Gold, 3 Silver and 5 Bronze, contributing to the 66 medal tally of Team India. ONGC had sent a contingent of 21 sportspersons to Gold Coast to represent India in various game disciplines.
The reason behind the high success ratio of ONGC players at the highest international level is the special focus that ONGC gives to the budding talent of the country. Each year, the company sends selected sportspersons on specialized training abroad at its own cost based on recommendation from the respective sports federations. In addition, the progress of the athletes is monitored at each stage in tandem with the sports federations. The objective is to help the athletes perform better at the international level.
ONGC Chairman and Managing Director, Shashi Shanker said that promoting sports and sportspersons is a priority area for ONGC. Congratulating the sportspersons who represented India at the Gold Coast CWG, Shanker said that all possible support will be provided so that ONGC sportspersons can bring laurels in the ensuing Jakarta Asian Games 2018 and the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Shanker said that ONGC has 171 active sportspersons on its rolls representing the country at international level. Building of sports infrastructure, training in country and abroad, providing necessary kits and instruments, endowing scholarship support and sponsoring young talents to achieve the next level in their respective sports disciplines are important focus areas for ONGC.
ONGC also has a strong scouting program to identify talents at the grassroots level. Echoing the sentiments of CMD, D D Misra, Director (HR), who drives the sports programme at ONGC also reiterated the company’s full support to all sportspersons. Each year, ONGC identifies sportspersons in various disciplines to provide scholarship support. Last year, ONGC provided scholarships to 242 sportspersons and this year, ONGC is considering granting scholarship support to 289 sportspersons in 24 sports disciplines.
Misra informed that these athletes have great potential and ONGC’s aim is to groom them to compete at the highest level. Also, if the athletes perform well consistently, ONGC also offers them employment. In the recently held games, Ragala Venkat Rahul, who is on scholarship program with ONGC, won the Gold medal in Men’s 85Kg Weightlifting.
ONGC sportspersons are a happy lot. Ashwini Ponnappa, India’s star women’s doubles badminton player said that the support provided to her by ONGC over the years is extremely gratifying. “This has helped me to win Gold medal and Bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games 2018,” she said.
Pankaj Advani, 19 time World Billiards and Snooker Champion and a Padma Bhushan awardee, who is an employee of ONGC, congratulated the ONGC sportspersons for their achievement and hailed ONGC’s support towards enhancing their quality of performance.
ONGCians Ragala Venkat Rahul won the Gold in Men’s 85 Kg Weightlifting, Heena Sidhu won Gold in women’s 25 m air pistol and Silver in women’s 10m air pistol event in the individual capacity, while in the team events, ONGC’s Madhurika Patkar, Pooja Sahasrabudhe (Table Tennis – Women’s team), A Amal Raj, G Sathiyen, Harmeet Desai (Table Tennis – Men’s team), Ashwini Ponnappa, H S Prannoy, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and R Satwik Sai Raj (Badminton – Mixed Team) were part of the champion teams in the respective category. Desai and Sathiyen also bagged Silver (Men’s Doubles TT) and Bronze (Mix doubles TT) respectively, while Ashwini Ponnappa and Sai Raj also bagged Bronze (Women’s Doubles – Badminton) and Silver medal (Men’s doubles – Badminton) respectively. Apurvi Chandela bagged the Bronze in women’s 10m air rifle while Ankur Mittal shot to Bronze in the Men’s double trap event.
ONGC has 40 national awardees in the organization (Padma Bhushan – 1, Khel Ratna – 1, Padma Shri – 3, Arjuna -34 and Dhyanchand – 1) as on date. The President of India acknowledged ONGC’s contribution to sports by conferring the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar in 2014.