New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) Archery coach Purnima Mahato, who Saturday became the first female sportsperson from Jharkhand to be conferred the prestigious Dronacharya Award on the occasion of the National Sports Awards here at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, called it a "great honour".
"It is indeed a great honour for me to have received this recognition. This award will further encourage me to work towards contributing in the area of sports. I would like to thank Tata Steel and Tata Archery Academy for their continued support," she said.
An accomplished archer, Mahato won the gold medal (team) in the International Archery Championship held at Bangkok in 1993.
She joined Tata Steel in 1994 and has been coaching the cadets of Tata Archery Academy ever since.
The Dronacharya Award is the ultimate recognition awarded by the country in sports to coaches.
Jharkhand Archery Association (JAA) also lauded Mahato for the award.
She has been one of the most successful coaches in guiding Indian Aarchery teams in the international arena.
In 2005, she accompanied the Indian archery team to Spain for the 43rd Senior World Outdoor Archery Championship where India won a silver medal.
She was the coach of the Indian team which won a gold medal for the boy's event and a bronze medal for the girl's at the senior Asian Archery Championship held in China in 2007.