Left-arm fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman and South Asian Games double gold medallist swimmer Mahfuza Khatun Shila respectively won the athlete of the year trophy for the year 2015 and 2016, presented by the Bangladesh Sports Press Association on Monday.
BSPA, the largest and oldest organisation for the sport journalists and writers, handed over the trophies to Mustafiz and Shila in a programme titled — KOOL-BSPA Sports Award at a city hotel.
The programme turned out as a get together for the current and former players and organisers as top officials of different sports federation were present in the occassion.
A total of 20 sport personalities and organisations received award for their contributions in different sports in the past two years.
In the year 2015, a total of nine sports personalities received awards with Mustafiz beating national cricket team-mates Mahmudullah and Soumya Sarkar to win the best athlete of the year award.
‘I’m happy to get the award in such a platform,’ said Mustafiz, who later won the KOOL-BSPA Popular Choice award after getting highest votes from the followers.
‘I would like to thank BSPA for giving me such an award which would inspire me to perform better in future.’
Mahmudullah, however, received the best cricketer of the year 2015 for his outstanding performance in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
In the year 2016, BSPA awarded a total of 11 sports personalities and swimmer Shila put left-hand batsman Tamim Iqbal and hockey player Ashraful Islam behind to secure the best athlete of the year award.
Shila won the prestigious award for her two gold medals in the 100-metre and 50-metre breaststroke events in last year’s South Asian Games.
‘I was really happy to receive the BSPA award for the first time in my career,’ Shila told in her speech just after receiving the prize.
‘It is a great honour for any athletes to achieve such a prestigious award.’
Meanwhile, both Tamim and Ashraful were adjudged as the best cricketer and best hockey players for the year 2016.
Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith distributed the awards while International Sports Press Association, Asia president Mohammed Qasem was also present as the special guest.
Square Toiletries Limited’s brand KOOL provided the financial support as the title sponsor of the gala event.
Mustafizur Rahman (best athlete, popular choice award), Mahmudullah (cricket), Fahad Rahman (chess), Tamimul Islam (archery), Sarwar Jaman Nipu (emerging athlete), Mohammad Yusuf Ali (organiser), Syed Golam Jilani (coach), Max Group (sponsor), Aminul Haq Moni (special honour, posthumous).
Mahfuza Khatun Shila (best athlete), Tamim Iqbal (cricket), Mabia Akter Simanta (weightlifting), Ashraful Islam (hockey), Shakil Ahmed (shooting), Sayeed Al Zabir (volleyball), Mehedi Hasan Miraz (emerging athlete), Krishna Rani Sarker (emerging athlete), Golam Rabbani Choton (coach), Tarafder Mohammad Ruhul Amin (organiser), Bangladesh Navy (organisation).
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