Virender Singh Bralli - the much-renowned player, coach and promoter of the Kabaddi game, has been honoured as the "doyen of Kabaddi in New Zealand" on the occasion of national kabaddi games held at the Takanini Gurudwara on Sunday, April 4.

Supreme Sikh Society of New Zealand was joined by NZ Kabaddi Sports Federation in presenting this prestigious recognition to Mr Bralli, who is revered in the wider community for bringing the passion of Kabaddi in New Zealand in the early 1990s and popularising the game in this country.

Speaking to the Indian Weekender, Daljit Singh, spokesperson of the Supreme Sikh Society of NZ, said, "It is a privilege for the entire team at SSNZ to honour Virender Singh Bralli for the contribution in popularising the game of Kabaddi in New Zealand."

"Today, there are more than ten teams/clubs playing and competing at the highest level in Kabaddi leagues, and this could not have been possible without the pioneering efforts of Virender Singh Bralli."

"Brother Virender Singh has been connected to the society for the last 30 years, and the society has also first awarded him with a gold medal," Daljit Singh said.

A trophy in the shape of the Banyan tree (Vat or Bargad) – considered as one of the most venerated trees in India representing the divine creator and symbolizing longevity – was presented to Virender Singh.

Accepting the award with humility and graciousness, Virender Singh said, "Thank you to all of you who gave me this prestigious award. I'm overwhelmed with all the love and good wishes. I want to express my sincere gratitude from the bottom of my heart to members of NZ Kabaddi Federation and Supreme Sikh Society NZ and all kabaddi lovers of this country."