B.C. Lions’ team doctor receives award from India

 

Navin Prasad believes it’s because he was one of first Indo-Canadian doctors in sports medicine

 
 
 
 
Dr. Navin Prasad is the clinical associate professor, Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, University of B.C. He's one of the recipients of the Hind Rattan Award.
 
 

Dr. Navin Prasad is the clinical associate professor, Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, University of B.C. He's one of the recipients of the Hind Rattan Award.

VANCOUVER -- At first, Navin Prasad thought it was a prank. An envelope addressed to him arrived at his office at the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Clinic at the University of B.C. It was covered with stamps from India.

The letter informed him he had been selected as a recipient of the Hind Rattan Award. It was given annually to accomplished former residents of India. He had never heard of it before.

He asked relatives in India to check out the award and the society that administers it. Sure enough, the award was real.

The society presented him the award in Delhi on Jan. 25, India’s Republic Day — the equivalent of our Canada Day.

But why had he been chosen as the recipient? Prasad said the society doesn’t reveal its reasons. It does that in part to avoid being swamped with applications from among an estimated 25 million non-residents of India (NRIs) who are eligible for the award. It used to be given only to businessmen, but in the past decade, potential recipients have included those working in science, medicine and the arts.

In chapters around the world, the NRI Welfare Society nominates people who have made some kind of outstanding contribution in their field. Prasad believes he was chosen because he’s one of the first Indo-Canadian physicians in sports medicine.

He has represented Canada in three Olympic Games, five Pan American Games and four Commonwealth Games, and was chief medical officer for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Local sports fans might know him better as one of three team doctors for the B.C. Lions.

Asked what the award meant to him, Prasad said: “It’s kind of nice to be validated for work that’s your passion that you’re already doing anyway. Someone else looks at it and says, ‘We want to recognize you for something you’ve done.’ ”

Prasad also says he appreciates that the place where he was born maintains the connection.

Born in Patna, India, Prasad grew up in Edmonton from the age of five. In high school, he was active in sports, playing football and soccer. But when he tore his left ACL at age 18 he faced a big decision. Getting an operation meant he was committed to playing at an elite level. But he was already thinking of going to medical school.

In the 1980s, sports medicine was barely 20 years old. As Prasad recovered from his injury, he thought about going into this field that combined his interest in sports and medicine.

After graduating in medicine from the University of Alberta, Prasad headed to UBC to train at Canada’s first sports medicine program. In 1991, he became a member of the McGavin Sports Medicine Clinic.

It was through the clinic that he became one of the physicians for the B.C. Lions.

kevingriffin@vancouversun.com

 
 
 
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Dr. Navin Prasad is the clinical associate professor, Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, University of B.C. He's one of the recipients of the Hind Rattan Award.
 

Dr. Navin Prasad is the clinical associate professor, Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, University of B.C. He's one of the recipients of the Hind Rattan Award.

 
Dr. Navin Prasad is the clinical associate professor, Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Centre, University of B.C. He's one of the recipients of the Hind Rattan Award.
Dr. Navin Prasad was presented with the Hind Rattan Award on Jan. 25.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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