India's First Dronacharya Awardee Boxing Coach Dies At 82

82-year-old Om Prakash Bhardwaj died after battling prolonged illness and age-related complications in New Delhi.

Delhi   |   22 May 2021 7:41 AM GMT / Updated : 2021-05-22T13:14:43+05:30
Writer : Hannah Jacob | Editor : Palak Agrawal | Creatives : Palak Agrawal
Indias First Dronacharya Awardee Boxing Coach Dies At 82

Image Credits: Unsplash, Samacharnama

Om Prakash Bhardwaj, fondly known as OP sir among his students, who was India's first Dronacharya awardee coach in boxing passed away on Friday, May 21.

Bhardwaj was 82 and had been battling prolonged illness and age-related complications. About 10 days ago, his wife had succumbed to illness, reported India Today.

"He had been unwell for many days with a lot of health issues and was hospitalised. Age was a factor and there was also the shock of losing his wife about 10 days back," said T L Gupta, a close family friend and a former boxing coach.

Bhardwaj was the national boxing coach from 1968 to 1989 and also served as a national selector for boxing matches. He was also the first chief instructor for the sport at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala.

"He started his career in the Army School of Physical Training in Pune and became an accomplished coach for Services. In 1975, when NIS came up with the proposal for coaching diplomas, in boxing, Mr Bhardwaj as picked to start the course," Gupta said.

Under his tutelage, his boxer students had won medals at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, and the South Asian Games.

Gupta reminisced that the former coach often fought for better treatment of the Indian boxers. With a help of a typewriter from Russia, he wrote many letters to the authorities demanding adequate facilities for the boxers.

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Hannah Jacob

Hannah Jacob

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Hannah Jacob P is an observant and passionate young woman who loves to find unheard stories and help to make anyone's day better through those stories. Besides searching for social impact stories, she loves to read about human behavior.

Palak Agrawal

Palak Agrawal

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Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.

Palak Agrawal

Palak Agrawal

Digital Editor

Palak a journalism graduate believes in simplifying the complicated and writing about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. She calls herself a " hodophile" or in layman words- a person who loves to travel.

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