Never played for rewards: Prakash Padukone

ANI | Updated: Jan 30, 2018 15:21 IST

New Delhi [India], January 30 (ANI): Former Indian shuttler Prakash Padukone, who was conferred with the Badminton Association of India's (BAI) first Lifetime Achievement Award, has said he never played for rewards.

Padukone said, "Don't say what badminton can give you, instead ask what you can do for badminton."

"I played purely for the love of the game, without expecting anything in return. I did not play badminton to make money, to win awards, or to make my parents happy or to please anyone else. I only played for my own satisfaction and to see how much I could challenge myself despite being no facilities," he added.

Insisting that the future of the game is bright, he said it is important to ensure that the young players are given an opportunity to progress, purely based on merit.

Padukone, the first Indian to win the All England Championships, was honoured by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu for his immense contribution to the game at a function held in New Delhi on Monday.

Terming Padukone as a "grand legend of a great game," Naidu said his achievements were the result of "sheer grit, determination and passion."

"This is a felicitation that is based on talent and merit. I'm sure this felicitation will inspire others to do well," Naidu said.

Padukone, a former World No. 1, had won gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games and also claimed the Danish Open and the Swedish Open.

He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1972 and the Padma Shri in 1982 by the Government of India.(ANI)