Hockey coach Marzban Patel, who has bagged the prestigious Dronacharya Award for his grassroot work, says although he expected the honour he didn’t visualise it coming his way this early.

The 69-year-old Patel, better known as ‘Bawa’ in Mumbai hockey, has nurtured a few Olympians when they were young. He has, in his three-decade career as a coach, mentored Olympians Adrian D’souza, half back Viren Rasquinha and other internationals like the Walmiki brothers – Devendra and Yuvraj.

Patel, along with Rambir Singh Khokhar (kabaddi) and cricket coach Sanjay Bhardwaj, will be conferred with the Dronacharya Award at the ceremony in New Delhi next week.

“Coaching is not just about coaching. More than coaching it is the gap of the…

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