Beedu to be awarded Dronacharya

Beedu to be awarded Dronacharya

V R Beedu

An e-mail that popped into his inbox on Wednesday evening brought immense joy to V R Beedu’s household.

Arriving from the sports ministry, the mail confirmed that the senior coach has been selected for this year’s Dronacharya award for life-time contribution.

Recognition has been slow to arrive but there was no doubt that a career dedicated to athletics had finally received the honour it deserved.

“I am extremely happy, it is the highest recognition for coaches in our country, and I am pleased that I have been chosen for this honour,” said the 71-year-old coach.

For 46 years, Beedu has groomed athletes around the country, with medal winners at various levels passing under his sharp eyes. He started his coaching career in 1972, joining the National Institute of Sports (NIS). 

He was there for 22 long years, and was India’s jumps coach at the 1989 Asian Track and Field meet in New Delhi. He was also the National coach at the 1991 South Asian Federation Games in Colombo before taking voluntary retirement in 1995.

“I am grateful to the NIS, which moulded my career as a coach. I should also thank R L Anand, who was the director of NIS, besides all the athletes who I trained over the years,” said Beedu.

While he groomed many young talent, including the likes of Praveen Fernandes, to the top level, he was particularly happy when the likes of T C Yohannan and Suresh Babu, who were in the national camp, hit the top level in Asia. At the Sports Hostel, Beedu moulded the careers of Sylvana Paes, Somasekhar, Pramila Ganapathy (now Aiyappa), M K Asha and B P Aiyappa among others.

Beedu is the second athletics coach from Karnataka to win the Dronacharya award, after N Lingappa, who received the honour in 2014.

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