By Duncan Mackay in Los Angeles

Jacques Rogge_gives_award_to_Manisha_Malhotra_Los_Angeles_February_16_2012February 16 - Former tennis player Manisha Malhotra, from India, was honoured by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with the World Trophy for outstanding contribution to the development of women's participation in sport and sports administration during a special ceremony here tonight. 

Presented on the opening night of the 5th World Conference on Women and Sport, Malhotra was one of six honoured as five continental winners selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women and Sport Commission from a pool of 52 nominees also received awards. 

The applicants were submitted by National Olympic Committees (NOCs), Continental Associations and International Federations.

Malhotra, 35, was presented with the World Trophy for her commitment to helping disadvantaged girls progress through sport.

Following a professional tennis career that saw her compete in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Malhotra started offering women support in a range of sports, including archery, wrestling, boxing, badminton, athletics, squash and shooting.

She travels all over India – visiting some of the country's most remote areas – to find talented individuals among the socio-economically deprived.

As chair of the Sports Committee of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, Malhotra has also worked tirelessly to promote female leaders in all aspects of sport in the economic sector.

IOC Women_in_Sport_Awards_Los_Angeles_February_16_2012
"As a former Olympian, Ms Malhotra knows how important a tool sport can be in the lives of young women," said IOC President Jacques Rogge, who was on hand to present the trophy to Malhotra.

"Ms Malhotra has been, and continues to be, an inspiration to everyone she meets.

"I applaud her and all of tonight's winners for everything they have done to help improve the lives of women around the world."

The five continental trophies were awarded Peninnah Aligawesa Kabenge from Uganda, the Bradesco Sports and Education Progamme and Centre in Brazil, Zaiton Othman from Malaysia, Aikaterini Nafplioti-Panagopoulos from Greece and Roseline Blake from the Cook Islands.

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