Vispi Kapadia was awarded the prestigious Utkrusht Kreeda Marg Darshak Puruskar

Vispy Kapadia is quite a familiar name in the karate circle for his contribution to the sport. And for all his hard work, he ultimately got the recognition from the state government.

Kapadia was awarded the prestigious Utkrusht Kreeda Marg Darshak Puruskar for being the best sports coach in 2008-09 by Government of Maharashtra. This is the highest coaching award in Maharashtra, previously known as Dadoji Kondeo Award.

It has been a memorable year till date for Kapadia who was honoured with Lifetime Achievement award by home minister P Chidambaram in March, earlier this year. In a karate career spanning for 30 years, Kapadia has served the sport not only as an athlete but as a coach and administrator too.

Currently serving as the president of Maharashtra Karate Association (MKA), the martial art guru is also the coach of the national team and the vice-president of All India Karate do Federation as well.

During his felicitation by MKA on Monday, he said that there has not been a single day in his life that went without his involvement with the sport. “My wedding anniversary, my children’s birthday and every other thing comes a close second to Karate,” said Kapadia.

He said that this award was not only his recognition but that of the state’s entire karate fraternity. “The government should now wholeheartedly accept MKA as the final authority of governing the sport in Maharashtra. No other off shoots or bodies should be considered as legal,” urged Kapadia.

The highest-ranked karateka in India was the coach of the Indian team that won 2 gold and 5 bronze medals at the Commonwealth championships in Edinburgh in June last year. “With the medals we have got in the last few years, government has finally realised the potential in the sport and decided to support us,” said Kapadia.

Even Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi has promised Kapadia with monetary support. “He told me that if a karate student shows good results, he would get them sponsored for 100 days of training abroad,” said Kapadia.

He foresees India as a major force in karate by 2016 with Maharashtra being the epicentre. Ask him about an Olympic berth, he says that by 2016, we will see more than handful Indian representation for the sport.

Original article here.